It may be a new year, but UK car sales continue to fall and demand for diesel cars remain on the downward slope. On the flip side, more petrol and alternatively-fuelled vehicles are on the rise, but that has failed to offset the declining diesels. Speaking of rises, the SUV market, which has been so popular as of late, has grown by 6.6% compared to January last year, meaning this segment now has a record market share.
Ups And Downs
Figures from the SMMT show that a total of 163,615 of new cars were sold last month, which is down -6.3% compared to 174,564 sold in January last year. AFVs saw the biggest gains as this sector of the market is up a very impressive 23.9% on 2017 with a total of 9,020 models leaving forecourts. Conversely, diesel models continue to become unpopular as this sector was down -25.6%.
Back to the success stories though, SUVs have increased in sales by 6.6%, meaning that this segment makes up 20.2% of the market share. This has had a knock-on effect, as MPVs have fallen out of favour – no surprise there. Speaking of little surprise, the Ford Fiesta was the best-selling car las month with a total 8,335, completely dominating the 2nd place VW Golf, which achieved 4,310 sales. Making up 3rd place was the Fiesta’s stablemate, the Focus, which was hot on the heels of the Golf with a total of 4,105 sales.
Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive, said,“The ongoing and substantial decline in new diesel car registrations is concerning, particularly since the evidence indicates consumers and businesses are not switching into alternative technologies, but keeping their older cars running. Given fleet renewal is the fastest way to improve air quality and reduce CO2, we need government policy to encourage take up of the latest advanced low emission diesels as, for many drivers, they remain the right choice economically and environmentally.”