New data has revealed that year on year overall car sales for July have fallen by 6,700 vehicles.
Stuart Masson, The Car Expert, reports:
Private new car sales were down 2% in July compared to the same month last year, according to the latest figures published today by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).
The overall new car market was down 4%, which equates to 6,700 vehicles, with fleet and business registrations dragging the total numbers down further.
Once again diesel cars took the brunt of the fall, down by more than 11,000 units over the same month last year.
Petrol cars were the main beneficiary, with two-thirds of all new cars now petrol powered.
The results for mild hybrids also look good, but bear in mind that these are basically petrol or diesel cars with a very limited amount of electrical assistance to run ancillary equipment like the radio or headlights.
It was a good month for electric vehicles, up by nearly 160% year-on-year; unfortunately for the overall numbers, that only equates to an increase of 1,400 cars.
Even with a nearly threefold increase in registrations, electric cars still only make up 1.4% of the overall market.
Sales of regular hybrids were good, up 34% compared to the same month last year. Plug-in hybrids, however, continued their struggle with numbers only half of what they were this time last year.
At this time of year, the car industry would normally be gearing up for the twice-yearly number plate change in September.
This year, however, the key month of September happens to be the month before the Brexit deadline of October and it’s unlikely to be remotely helpful for new car sales.
Despite the overall downwards trend of the market, the sudden increase in the number of electric vehicles being registered illustrates the changing tendencies of motorists who are seeing these alternative vehicles as a viable option.