Ford Fiesta Active review front three quarters action
Ford Fiesta continues to lead the sales charts - new Active model (above) expands range choice
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  • UK new car market down -3.0% in November to 158,639 units – SMMT says this reflects uncertainty, falling consumer confidence and supply constraints.
  • Growth for petrol and alternatively fuelled vehicles fails to offset more falls in diesel demand.
  • Year-to-date more than 2.2 million new cars registered – SMMT says this is in line with such a challenging market.

AN almost 25% increase in demand for AFV vehicles failed to offset the continuing decline in the diesel market. The latter was down nearly -17%.

Having said that, the UK market overall was only down a slight -3.0% in November with 158,639 units registered, according to figures released by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) today (December 05, 2018).

The SMMT suggested that stalling consumer confidence, and WLTP supply delays all combined to affect overall sales.

Continuing the recent trends we have seen in the UK market, demand for petrol and alternatively fuelled vehicles (AFVs) rose 3.5% and 24.6% respectively.

Fleet and private registrations fell by -0.7% and -6.4% respectively; business sales rose 8.6%.

November 2018 best selling carsMike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive, commented:

“Model and regulatory changes combined with falling consumer confidence conspired to affect supply and demand in November.

“The good news is that, as supply constraints ease, and new exciting models come on sale in the months ahead, buyers can look forward to a wide choice of cutting-edge petrol, diesel and electrified cars. 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.”

November 2018 sales by type

Ashley Barnett, Head of Consultancy at Lex Autolease, added:

“This has been a challenging year for fleets, with changes to emissions testing and tax regulations making it difficult to plan for the future. As well as a decline year-on-year, it is no surprise to see registrations are down compared with this time four years ago.”

“Based on the average 48-month fleet replacement cycle, this indicates that drivers who renewed in Q2 2014 are choosing not to now. Whether they are moving away from company cars into grey fleet or holding on to older vehicles for longer, progress towards the Road to Zero targets will be slowed as a result.

“Looking ahead to next year, increased clarity on company car taxation due in Spring should give drivers and fleet decision makers the confidence to start placing orders again. We also expect to see the Government’s focus on sustainability gather pace and we hope that as part of this, mobility as a whole will be reviewed.

“Fleets have always been the pioneers of new vehicle technology and have an important role to play in reducing emissions, but it is important to look beyond the circa one million company cars on the roads and drive behavioural change across the board.”

November registrations 2002 to 2018


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