UK Car Sales Decline In October: SMMT

October 2017 marked the seventh consecutive month in which the United Kingdom auto market has declined.

Demand for diesel cars slumped by about 30 percent, the industry body said.

The Government said earlier this year it would aim to end sales of conventional diesel and petrol cars by 2040, while ministers are said to be drawing up plans to tax diesel cars more heavily in towns and increase duty on the fuel.

Auto registrations dropped by 12.2% compared with the same month a year ago, with a total of 158,192, according to figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers & Traders (SMMT).

Vehicle sales decreased 12.2 percent year-on-year to 158,192 units in October.

AFV demand continued to rise, up 36.9% to 8,244 registrations, while petrol models enjoyed a more modest growth of 2.7%.

Demand from businesses and fleet orders dropped 26.8% and 13% respectively last month.

Dealers reported -10.1% fewer private buyers taking delivery of new cars in the month.

Year-to-date, the overall auto market is now down by 4.6 per cent on the equivalent levels last year.

Ford Fiesta was the best-selling vehicle during the month, as it has been so far this year, followed by the Volkswagen Golf, the Ford Focus and the Nissan Qashqai.

Declining business and consumer confidence is undoubtedly affecting demand in the new vehicle market but this is being compounded by confusion over government policy on diesel, Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive, said. "We must also remember Brexit has already had an impact on the United Kingdom auto market through the fundamental shift in the exchange rate which is impacting vehicle prices, making the market correction even more understandable".

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