This morning’s new car registration data from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), reveal the market saw its eighth consecutive month of decline in November, with new car demand falling -11.2%. 163,541 units were registered last month, compared to 184,101 during the same period in 2016.
Both petrol and Alternatively Fuelled Vehicles (AFVs) recorded an increase in November, growing 5% and 33.1% respectively. However, their performance was not enough to offset the heavy losses for diesel which fell -30.6%.
Commenting on the results, Nathan Coe, Auto Trader’s Chief Operating Officer said:
“2017 has been a challenging year for the new car market, with Brexit continuing to cast a shadow over consumer confidence, exchange rates impacting the profitability of UK new car sales and the effect of the ongoing demonisation of diesel only serving to confuse consumers and hamper production plans for manufacturers. And these challenges will continue until firmer plans are laid out by the government to enable stability and confidence.
“However, whilst the new car market is slowing, there remains great opportunity within the used car market – a market that is three times larger than that of the new car market. As we’ve seen on our marketplace, retailers that ensure their cars are in front of the most buyers, use data to inform their stocking and pricing strategy and offer a customer-centric buying experience are consistently outperforming the market. It’s not uncommon for us to see double digit growth at a good gross margin, despite the challenging new car conditions.”