Diesel’s decline continued on new car forecourts last month.
It was the 12 consecutive month of falling sales but an inflated registration spike in March 2017 to beat tougher emissions requirements and tax rates has distorted the tables for March 2018 although the underlying trend is bad for diesel.
|Figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders today show a 37.2% drop over 12 months ago for diesel cars with a 5.7% gain in alternatively fuelled models and just 0.5% petrol increase.||In Wales, registrations were recorded 19.5% lower than a year ago at 16,340, almost 4% worse than the UK average drop.|
Total sales last month with the new 18-plate reached 474,069, some 15.7% down and year to date the first quarter has seen a 12.4% dip.
Alternatively fuelled vehicles, most electric, have grown 9.8% in the same three months. Plug-in hybrids jumped 18.2% in March.
Some analysts have said a greater variety of EVs would ramp up the sales as the charging network is also expanded.
The only manufacturers to improve their sales in March were: Abarth, Honda, Hyundai, Lexus, McLaren, MG, Mitsubishi, SEAT and Subaru.
Worst affected was Infiniti with an 83.75% collapse in sales.
The SMMT said about the sales and diesels in particular, “The decline in demand for diesel cars continues to be of concern and the latest tax changes announced by the government do nothing to encourage consumers to exchange their older diesel vehicles for new lower emission models.”
The trade body is also pointing out the importance of the car sales and service sector.
Some 200,000 people are employed in new car retail alone, while UK-based car finance firms employ over 45,000 more, with an annual £12.5 billion economic contribution.
On the road, the vehicle fuel industry supports 40,000 jobs, and a further 347,000 are employed in vehicle servicing and repair.
UK March 2018 top ten
- Ford Fiesta
- VW Golf
- Nissan Qashqai
- Vauxhall Corsa
- Ford Focus
- Ford Kuga
- MB A Class
- MB C Class
- Kia Sportage