UK NEW car registrations dropped for the first time in more than three-and-a-half years in October – with Volkswagen’s performance down almost 10 per cent in the wake of the emissions scandal.
VW wasn’t the only manufacturer to post a poor set of figures, however. Sister brands Skoda and Seat saw drops of three per cent and 32 per cent respectively, while Dacia (down 31 per cent) and Citroen (down 18 per cent) also reported heavy falls.
Mini recorded a 21 per cent decline in new car registrations and Vauxhall’s numbers fell by 16 per cent. It wasn’t all bad news, however, with brands such as Abarth, Infiniti, Jeep and Lotus all heading in the right direction.
The figures released today by the SMMT revealed that a total of 177,664 new cars were registered in the month. The statistic represented a slight decrease of 1.1 per cent on last year’s October figure and followed a record 43 consecutive months of growth.
The year-to-date figures continue to paint a positive picture, however. A total of 2,274,550 cars have been registered so far this year, 6.4 per cent more than at this time in 2014, and the best year-to-date performance on record.
Diesel and petrol market shares remained stable during October, while the demand for alternatively-fuelled vehicles (AFVs) continues to grow.
October AFV volumes were up by 13.8 per cent, reaching three per cent of the total market for the first time, as more consumers switch to an ever more diverse range of ultra low-emission vehicles. The high-value market segments saw the biggest gains, with specialist sports and luxury saloon vehicle registrations growing 59.0 per cent and 23.1 per cent respectively.
Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive, said: ‘The UK car market has gone through a period of unprecedented growth and, so far, 2015 has been a bumper year with the strongest performance since the recession.
‘As expected, demand has now begun to level off but the sector is in a strong position, as low interest rates, consumer confidence and exciting new products combine to attract new car buyers. The current full-year growth forecast remains on track.’
VW sales were down 9.84 per cent down year-on-year.
On SuperUnleaded.com: Civic Driver Left Helpless As He’s Collected By Lorry