Industry fears a auto crash as diesel sales fall by 30%

Industry fears a auto crash as diesel sales fall by 30%

Petrol cars grew 5.0%, but these increases could not, however, offset the 30.6% drop in diesel registrations.

New vehicle sales have plunged again, down more than 11 per cent in November.

But, on the other hand, new registrations of alternative fuel vehicles have jumped by a third, compared to the same time previous year.

Fleet and overall new auto registrations fell for the eighth consecutive month in November as falling business and consumer confidence and concerns over future tax treatment of diesel cars hit home. Sub-25 "Business" registrations plummeted 33.6% to 4,469 units and private demand fell 5.1% to 74,065. Fleet sales traditionally make up more than half of new vehicle sales.

"An eighth month of decline in the new auto market is a major concern, with falling business and consumer confidence exacerbated by ongoing anti-diesel messages from government", said Mike Hawes, chief executive of the SMMT.

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Sue Robinson, director of the National Franchised Dealers Association, said: 'The new vehicle market is now year-to-date five per cent down on last year, in line with initial forecasts. New auto sales in the first 11 months of 2017 were down by 5% at 2.39m.

The decline follows months of confusion and speculation about the government's air quality plans and its policies towards diesel cars.

Overall, the Ford Fiesta remained the bestselling auto of the year in November.

Nathan Coe, Auto Trader's Chief Operating Officer, said, "2017 has been a challenging year for the new vehicle market, with Brexit continuing to cast a shadow over consumer confidence, exchange rates impacting the profitability of United Kingdom new vehicle sales and the effect of the ongoing demonisation of diesel only serving to confuse consumers and hamper production plans for manufacturers".

"Given fleet renewal is the fastest way to improve air quality, penalising the latest, cleanest diesels is counterproductive and will have detrimental environmental and economic consequences", Mr Hawes said.

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