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New car market declines as uncertainty affects consumers

NFDA 04/04/2019

“The new car market declined -3.4% in March reflecting continued political uncertainty”, said Sue Robinson, Director of the National Franchised Dealers Association (NFDA), which represents franchised car and commercial vehicle retailers in the UK commenting on the latest SMMT’s new passenger car figures.

In March, new passenger car registrations declined by -3.4% with 458,054 units registered. Year-to-date the market is marginally down -2.4% from last year to 701,036 units. Sales of petrol cars rose 5.1%, diesel sales were down -21.4% and alternative fuel vehicles rose 7.6%. Private demand declined by -2.8%, while fleet remained stable (+0.3%).

Robinson added, “Despite the challenges affecting new car sales, retailers are demonstrating their resilience capitalising on the opportunities provided by other business areas including used cars, aftersales and alternative fuel vehicles.   

“Positively, as appetite for alternative fuel vehicles keeps increasing alongside the availability of more models, this segment of the market will continue to perform well.

“Whilst there is demand for new cars, consumer decisions are being delayed due to Brexit. We call on the government to produce a deal with the EU that protects motor retailing, a crucial industry for the UK economy”.

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About the RMI

The Retail Motor Industry represents the interests of operators in England, Wales, Northern Ireland and the Isle of Man providing sales and services to motorists and businesses. The RMI has a formal association with the independent Scottish Motor Trade Association which represents the retail motor industry in Scotland.