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Reduction In New Car Sales In 2019

January 7, 2020 by Logan Biggs

It will not come as a surprise to motor traders to read that, according to figures published by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), the number of new cars registered here in the UK fell in 2019 when compared with the previous year. Unfortunately, such data also has an impact upon other areas of the motor trade industry.

In 2019, the number of new cars registered in the UK amounted to 2,311,140 whereas in 2018 the figure was 2,367,147. That is a drop of 55,737 with this equating to a fall of 2.4%. We are sure that you will agree that is a significant reduction.

There was a huge drop in the number of new diesel cars sold – from 746,332 in 2018 to 583,488 last year. That is a fall of 162,844 equating to a reduction of 21.8%. There was an increase in the number of new petrol cars sold from 1,466,024 in 2018 to 1,498,640 – a rise of 32,616 equating to an increase of 2.2%. Overall, new alternatively fuelled vehicles (AFVs) saw a large increase in the number of registrations with such vehicles taking a market share of 7.4% in 2019. The market share for new diesel fuelled cars dropped significantly from 31.5% in 2018 to 25.2% in 2019. The market share for new petrol fuelled cars rose from 61.9% in 2018 to 64.8% in 2019.

There was a drop in the number of new cars purchased for the private sector – falling from 1,052,202 in 2018 to 1,018,258 in 2019 – a drop of 3.2%. Fleet new cars sales rose from 1,222,850 in 2018 to 1,232,447 in 2019 – an increase of 0.8%. New business car sales dropped significantly from 92,095 in 2018 to 60,435 in 2019 – a fall of 34.4%. 

The top 10 selling new cars in 2019 were: –

  1. Ford Fiesta                              77,833
  2. Volkswagen Golf                    58,994
  3. Ford Focus                              56,619
  4. Vauxhall Corsa                        54,239
  5. Mercedes-Benz A-Class          53,724
  6. Nissan Qashqai                       52,532
  7. Ford Kuga                               41,671
  8. MINI                                       41,188
  9. Volkswagen Polo                    37,453
  10. Kia Sportage                           34,502

There were no doubt a number of factors that resulted in a disappointing performance overall in 2019 when compared with the previous year in terms of the number of new cars registered. Motor traders and others in the motor trade industry will be hoping that we see a turnaround in performance in 2020. We will continue to keep our readers up to date with relevant data.


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