UK sales fall 3% in Nov. on Brexit, diesel uncertainty

December 5, 2018 16:15 CET

UK new-car sales fell 3 percent in November on stalling consumer confidence related to Brexit uncertainty and double-digit drops in demand for diesel, the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) said on Wednesday.

“It’s now critical that a Brexit deal is secured to boost consumer confidence and provide a stimulus to the new car market as we enter the New Year,” SMMT CEO Mike Hawes said.

A vote by the UK parliament on Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit plan is due to take place on Dec. 11, with most commentators expecting it to be defeated. If May loses, the future of her government and Britain’s exit from the EU is uncertain. The prime minister has warned the UK could leave without a deal or that there could be no Brexit at all.

Diesel sales fell 17 percent in November for a market share of 32.4 percent, while gasoline registrations dropped 3.5 percent for a 60.8 percent share of the market.

Model changes and backlogs at automakers conducting new emissions certification also continued to hit sales last month. On Sept. 1, the Worldwide harmonized Light vehicle Test Procedure took effect in the EU.

Brand winners/losers

Volvo, Dacia, Seat and Toyota had a good month while Audi, Nissan, Hyundai and Ford suffered steep sales declines.

Audi’s registrations plunged 43 percent, Nissan’s sales fell 27 percent, Hyundai’s volume was down 26 percent and Ford sales dropped 19 percent.

• Download file here  for November UK sales by brand

Volvo’s registrations rose up 45 percent, Dacia sales increased 43 percent and Seat gained 36 percent.

Among other winners Toyota gained 34 percent, Fiat sales  rose 32 percent and Skoda was up 21 percent.

Volkswagen brand was the UK’s top-selling marque with its sales rising 13 percent.

Vauxhall sales gained 12 percent.

Through November, the overall market fell 6.9 percent to 2.22 million.

You can reach David Jolley at djolley@crain.com.

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