New vehicle sales are increasing over the borders from England…
Robin Roberts reports.
Wales bucked the UK trend and pushed up new car registrations in November by 1.03% to 5,579 models.
This compares to a rise of 7.1% in Scotland with 12,407 new cars and 3.8% in Northern Ireland to 3,253, while a decline of 4.1 %was experienced in England when figures dipped to 137,039, so the market in the UK went down overall by 2.98%.
British new car sales fell by 6.9 percent in the first eleven months of the year due to stalling consumer confidence, stricter emissions rules disrupting supply and double-digit drops in demand for diesel, according to an industry body.
Demand declined 3.0 percent on the year in November alone, the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders said, and warned about the consequences of Britain crashing out of the European Union without a deal.
“It’s now critical that a Brexit deal is secured to boost consumer confidence and provide a stimulus to the new car market as we enter the New Year,” said SMMT Chief Executive Mike Hawes.
Reflecting recent trends, demand for petrol and alternatively fuelled vehicles (AFVs) rose 3.5% and 24.6% respectively, but failed to offset a –16.7% fall for diesel cars. While fleet and private registrations fell in turn by –0.7% and –6.4%, business sales rose 8.6%, though the latter makes up only 3.1% of the market.
Alex Buttle, director, car buying comparison website Motorway.co.uk, said, “What does this tell us about the state of the new car industry when falling sales are a standard scenario? A 3% overall sales decline in any other major sector would be disastrous, but it’s business as usual for now. This is not so much a recession as a Great Depression for the whole industry.
“New car sales have fallen off a cliff since the heady days of 2015, but there’s at least some positive news to draw from these figures with petrol and AFV sales higher in November, although nowhere near enough to counter the decline in diesel sales.
Diesel sales continue on their downward trajectory, falling for the 20th consecutive month. The last time diesel sales actually saw a monthly uptick, Article 50 was about to be invoked. While politicians have been fighting amongst themselves ever since, the UK car industry has been fighting falling sales.
Brands like Vauxhall and Jaguar Land Rover with a British heritage have been suffering domestically for some time, but the latest SMMT figures show that German cars now make up a third of the UK new car market in November. That demonstrates just what is at stake on both sides of the EU table, and the importance of securing frictionless trade for all.”
November top ten in Wales
November top ten in UK