UK new car sales record biggest fall since 2008 financial crisis

UK new car sales record biggest fall since 2008 financial crisis

The figures come as SMMT publishes data showing the United Kingdom new vehicle fleet average Carbon dioxide rose for a second successive year, by 2.9 per cent to 124.5g/km.

That's according to figures released today by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), which says that the data is a wake-up call to policymakers as environmental calls are at risk.

Private, fleet and business registrations all fell in 2018, with the biggest losses felt in the fleet sector (down 7.3 per cent), while private motorists and smaller business operators registered 6.4 per cent and 5.6 per cent fewer new cars respectively.

"For the country's fleet to be as sustainable as possible, it's also important that every driver chooses the right vehicle to suit their specific requirements, which, for high mileage motorway users, could be an RDE2-compliant diesel or the newest Euro 6 diesels". A -5.5 per cent decline in December capped a turbulent year of model changes, regulatory upheaval and continued anti-diesel policies, adding to the ongoing decline in consumer and business confidence.

Looking at vehicle types, 2018 registrations fell across all segments bar the dual objective category, which grew by +9.1% to take a fifth of the market (21.2%).

The diesel sector saw the biggest decline, down -29.6% in 2018, with the volume loss equivalent to some 180% of the overall market's decline.

Barnett told Fleet News that it was "positive" that alternative fuel vehicles (AFVs) had a strong year with registration growth of over 20%.

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It said that while a switch to tougher emissions testing was part of the reason for this, the move away from diesels also had a significant impact.

The increase in Carbon dioxide will not only impact on carmakers trying to meet emission targets but will also have an impact on government climate change targets.

SMMT chief executive Mike Hawes predicted a 2 per cent drop in demand this year, but insisted sales remained "on a par" with the average over the past ten to 15 years.

The rise in petrol sales and drop in diesel means the average Carbon dioxide emissions of new cars sold in Britain in 2018 rose just under 3 percent, posing a headache for automakers who need to reduce levels to meet stricter regulations. "But they can't do it all on their own - they need support from the Government to encourage more new vehicle purchases and allow the industry to thrive this year".

After two record years, as a result of contraction in the British auto sales as early as 2017.

"Rising residual values for electric vehicles will significantly help future new AFV sales in 2019 and beyond".

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