Vehicle sales fall for the fifth consecutive month

Vehicle sales fall for the fifth consecutive month”

Demand for heavier vans fell for the fifth consecutive month with registrations for vehicles weighing 2.5-3.5T down 0.6 per cent, according to figures by the SMMT.

Demand for petrol hybrid and pure electric battery powered cars increased substantially, up 74.9 per cent and 62.5 per cent, while plug-in hybrid registrations rose 38.5 per cent.

Fleet and business registrations were down nearly 4% for the month, compared to August 2016.

He noted that while the subindex of expectations for business in 12 months' time eased to its lowest level in 11 months, almost eight times as many firms still expect to see growth in activity over the coming year as those who anticipate a decline. That compares to 44,371 registrations in August 2016, when fleet and business accounted for 54% of the overall market (81,640 units). "August is typically a slow time of the year for new auto buying as buyers hang on for the 67 plates". Year-to-date, the market remained broadly in line with expectations, down -2.4%.

In total, 76,433 new cars were registered last month, which the SMMT said made it the third best August performance in the last ten years. With the new Fiesta now available, we're sure the ubiquitous supermini will continue to hold its position as 2017's most popular auto.

Small family cars and so-called superminis, which are slightly smaller, remained the most popular types of vehicle, accounting for more than half of registrations. However, SUVs, larger family cars and executives were the only segments to grow, up 7.9 per cent, 2.2 per cent and 1.1 per cent respectively.

"Given the substantial decline in diesel registrations, it is crucial that modern Euro 6 diesel cars are not compared to older diesel vehicles".

Sales to private buyers dropped 9.9% in August from a year previously, while fleet sales dropped 3.2%.

Chris Bosworth, director of Close Brothers Motor Finance said: "With Brexit negotiations well underway and the government announcing radical changes to the sale of fossil fuelled cars, the motor industry is entering a wave of prolonged uncertainty".

"It's unlikely to instil too much confidence in consumers to buy diesel when they see how little faith the manufacturers themselves have in diesel motors".

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