Britain’s new car market is slowing down – growth in July was just 0.1 per cent.
But the Society of Motor Manufacturers & Traders (SMMT), which compiles the UK’s new car registration figures, points out that year-to-date demand is still 2.8 per cent ahead of 2015, at 1m 599,159 cars.
The SMMT had predicted at the start of the year that demand would level off, and chief executive Mike Hawes remains optimistic, while also reminding Government of the need to keep the industry strong.
“After a healthy start to 2016 and record registrations in 2015 the market is showing signs of cooling,” Hawes says.
“The automotive market is a vital part of the British economy and it’s important government delivers the economic conditions which instill business and consumer confidence – with low interest rates, attractive finance options and exciting new models coming to the showrooms, the market still has lots to offer customers,” he adds.
July’s total registrations of 178,523 cars was only 103 ahead of the same month in 2015. Following the trend of recent months, declining private purchases down 6.1 per cent, were offset by a fleet market up five per cent. The diesel and petrol split remained virtually even at 87,672 and 86,695 respectively, while registrations of alternatively fuelled vehicles, which includes electric cars, again jumped by almost 25 per cent, to 5,380.