May 4, 2018

Surprise the sale of new cars in the UK is growing, but the diesel continues to dive

The engine industry accepts praise despite the monthly fall of 25% of diesel car sales


The new UK car sales increased for the first time in a year, especially in April, but the demand for diesel models is still in free fall.

The sale of 168 000 cars throughout the month, a 10% increase in March, was partly helped by the cold weather in the previous report boosting deliveries in April, and by Easter giving dealers two extra days to sell, said the industry.

Drivers are still refusing diesel cars, which confront an imminent burden of pollution across Europe. Sales of diesel cars fell a quarter, 51 377.  

The Diesel market share, which have been blamed for illegal levels of nitrogen oxide throughout the UK, has decreased 45% by 2017 to 30% in 2018 so far. Put this, the appetite for electric cars, hybrids and plug-in is increasing.

Mike Hawes, chief executive of SMMT, warned against looking at a month of isolation, saying that while the growing demand for greener cars was welcome, his numbers were fairly small and would  "do little to compensate for harmful declinios  ", in an apparent reference to diesel vehicles.

The results ostensibly positive for the month are also flattered by the fact that in April 2017 the sales were relatively low because of the changes of the vehicle consumption tax.

Ian Gilmartin, an analyst at Barclays, said:  "Except for last year, it is still the weakest of April since 2013, but after a whole year of falls, the industry will congratulate a sales increase in whatever way is reached ".

SMMT considered the strong results and expected the market to continue to recover gradually this year.

Prof. David Bailey, an automotive industry expert at Aston University, said he still hoped sales for the year would reduce from 5% to 10% at 2017.

 "The trend is still clear, that sales for the first part of this year are looking down and the trend of diesel is still pronounced "

By Adam Vaughan 

The Guardian-Fri 4 May 2018