The brakes are still slowing Britain’s new car sales.
Robin Roberts reports…
Figures from the SMMT car-makers’ body today show the fifth consecutive month for a decline.
But August has always been a slow month as buyers hold off for the new plate and registrations of 67-plate models will provide a better indicator of the overall market.
Registrations dropped 6.4 percent to 76,433 vehicles, according to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, with demand among businesses and private buyers both slumping.
Bank of England warnings over mounting debt and concerns about implications for PCPS are also affecting sales, while some manufacturers are steadily lifting prices and discouraging buyers or making them consider more marques with lower prices.
Diesel registrations fell by 21 percent, while petrol sales rose 3.8 percent amid uncertainty over government-imposed penalties on the most polluting vehicles.
Less than 40% of new cars are now diesels, while over 55% are petrol and the remainder hybrids or electric models.
Ford saw registrations fall by 21% in August, while sales at second-placed Volkswagen brand grew 22%. Third-placed Vauxhall’s volume slipped 22%, while sales at Audi grew 1.7% and Mercedes-Benz completed the top five with a rise of 1.8%.
Through August, total market sales fell 2.4% to 1.64 million. The SMMT expects full-year UK registrations to end the year down nearly 4% at 2.59 million units from 2.69 million in 2016, which was a record high.
The UK’s drop in sales was in contrast to rises in other key European markets last month. Registrations in Germany rose 3.5%, while French sales were up 9.4%. In Italy, sales jumped by 16% and in Spain registrations rose 13%.
SMMT CEO Mike Hawes said he expected demand to remain strong in September, which accounts for some 15 percent of annual sales, as it is one of only two occasions each year when a new license plate series is introduced to indicate the age of a vehicle.
“With the new 67-plate now available and a range of new models in showrooms, we anticipate the continuation of what are historically high levels of demand,” he added.
UK August top ten: