New car sales collapsed 12.2 percent in October, marking the seventh consecutive month of decreases and a velocity on the drop of 9 percent recorded the previous month.
Falling business and customer confidence was to blame for the decline, Mike Hawes said, the chief executive of trade body the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).
“This is being intensified by confusion over Government policy on diesel,” he informed. “Customers require immediate reassurance that the latest, low emission diesel cars on sale will not deal with any bans, charges or other restrictions, throughout the UK.”
The Government stated previously this year it would intend to end sales of standard diesel and petrol cars by 2040, while ministers are noted to be drawing up strategies to tax diesel cars more greatly in towns and increase duty on the fuel.
Demand for diesel vehicles fell 29.9 percent in October as a result. The downturn in the diesel market was so serious it could not be balanced out by a 2.7 percent increase in demand for petrol automobiles and a 36.9 percent jump in sales of alternatively fuelled automobiles, such as electric cars and hybrids, to 8,244 registrations.
Overall, new car registrations – a proxy for sales – dropped to 158,192 in October, the SMMT reported.
Demand from business and fleet purchasers declined 26.8 percent and 13 percent respectively, while registrations among private car buyers declined 10.1 pc.
The overall auto market is down 4.6 percent in the year to this day, with 2.22 million automobiles signed up in the first 10 months of 2017.
The SMMT is now forecasting full-year sales of cars and trucks will drop 4.7 percent to 2.57 million units this year, having modified its projection recently.
“We urge the Government to use the forthcoming Automn Budget to restore stability to the market, motivating the purchase of the latest low emission vehicles as fleet renewal is the fastest and most effective way of resolving air quality concerns,” Mr Hawes stated.