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Significant Drop In New Car Sales In 2018

January 7, 2019 by Logan Biggs

Unfortunately, 2018 was not a good year for the sale of new cars here in the UK when comparing the figures with the previous year. The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) has recently produced the figures and they make for disappointing reading.

In 2018, there were 2,367,147 new cars sold here in the UK yet in 2017 there were 2,540,617. That is a drop of 173,470 with this equating to an average reduction of 14,455 per month. In percentage terms, this is a fall of 6.8%. We are sure that you will agree these figures are concerning in particular if you are a motor trader involved in the sale of new cars but it will also concern many businesses operating within the motor trade industry.

It will probably not come as a surprise for readers to note that the number of new diesel cars sold in 2018 fell by a huge amount. In 2018 there were 750,165 yet in 2017 there were 1,065,942 โ€“ a drop of 315,777 with this equating to a fall of 29.6%. The market share for new diesel cars fell from 42% in 2017 to 31.7% in 2018. There was an 8.7% increase in the sale of new petrol cars when comparing 2018 with 2017. In 2018 there were 1,475,712 whereas in 2017 there were 1,357,782. The market share rose from 53.4% to 62.3%. There was a big rise in the sale of new AFVs in 2018 to 141,270 โ€“ up from 116,893 in the previous year โ€“ a rise of 20.9%. The market share rose from 4.6% in 2017 to 6% in 2018. 

The sale of new cars in the private, fleet and business sector fell in 2018 when compared with 2017. Falls of 6.4%, 7.3% and 5.6% respectively.

The top 10 selling new cars in 2018 were: –

  1. Ford Fiesta                              95,892
  2. Volkswagen Golf                    64,829
  3. Vauxhall Corsa                        52,915
  4. Nissan Qashqai                       50,546
  5. Ford Focus                              50,492
  6. Volkswagen Polo                    45,149
  7. MINI                                       44,904
  8. Mercedes-Benz A-Class          43,527
  9. Ford Kuga                               40,398
  10. Kia Sportage                           35,567

It is pleasing to see that there are three Ford models featuring in the top 10 last year.

Motor traders will no doubt be hoping that in 2019 there is a turnaround in the fortunes of new car sales here in the UK. There are numerous sectors within the motor trade industry that rely on new car sales proving popular. For instance, mechanics will be involved in servicing new cars. Car part businesses receive a steady stream of business for new parts. Tyre fitting companies will be asked to replace punctured tyres on a number of new cars. A number of new cars will no doubt be involved in road traffic accidents and some of these will need car body repair work completing.


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