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New car sales see slow start to 2020

NFDA 05/02/2020

“Today’s new car sales figures showing a decline of -7.3% in January are disappointing, however, this follows a particularly strong December when consumers could benefit from a wide range of manufacturer offers”, 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 registration figures.

The UK New car market declined by -7.3% in January 2020 with 149,279 units registered. Sales of petrol cars declined -9.5%, diesel -36.0, whilst battery electric vehicles continued to grow, up 203.9%. Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEVs) rose by 111.1% in January to 4,788 units. Private demand decreased by -13.9% and fleet -2.2%.

Robinson added, “Positively, sales of pure electric vehicles rose significantly and the upward trend is likely to continue with plenty of new models coming to the market. However, the Government’s clean air policies must be consistent, and motorists need to receive further support, especially if the UK is to meet the 2035 deadline for the sales of new petrol, diesel and hybrids. This includes maintaining the plug-in car grant.

“When planning future policies, it is crucial that the Government recognises the investments that will be required by franchised retailers and those that have already been made to meet the fast-changing consumer demand. Additionally, we urge the Government to reconsider its plans to ban the sales of new plug-in hybrids by 2035 considering the growth that this segment is experiencing.

“We will continue to work closely with our franchised dealer members and industry partners to inform consumers and help them select their ideal car while supporting the transition to EVs”.

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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.