New car sales dropped for the fourth month running in July as Brexit-related uncertainties continued to dampen confidence amongst car buyers.
Some 161,997 new cars were registered in July, 9.3 per cent fewer than in the same month last year, according to the latest registrations figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).
Demand fell across the board with business, fleet and private sales feeling the effect (down 23.8, 10.1 and 6.8 per cent respectively), while demand for diesel cars dropped by a fifth in the face of government meandering over regulations.
Mike Hawes, chief executive of the SMMT, commented: “The fall in consumer and business confidence is having a knock-on effect on demand in the new car market and government must act quickly to provide concrete plans regarding Brexit.”
The deflated demand means that there are bargains to be had, Mr Hawes added, stating that it would ultimately mean competition from manufacturers would intensify.
“It will be a good opportunity for consumers to get a great deal on their next car, with many exciting new models launched in the coming months,” the SMMT head went on to say.
The Ford Focus [pictured] was Britain’s best-selling model in July with 5,251 units shifted – a mere 15 units more than Volkswagen’s Golf in second place.
Other big sellers in July were the Nissan Qashqai (4,640 units) and Ford Fiesta, which is the year’s most popular car with 62,752 examples registered in the first seven months of 2017 – over 17,000 more than the Focus in second.
Molly Benton, brand manager at Fuel Card Services, comments: “SMMT’s monthly car sales figures are often used as a bellwether for the overall UK economy.
“While these might not be the most encouraging numbers, it’s good news for motorists who will soon be able to pick up a factory-fresh car with thousands hacked off the asking price.”
Posted on 7th August 2017
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