New car sales fell in October, bringing a record 43 month period of growth to an end, figures released by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders show.
177,664 new cars were registered in October, a decline of 1.1% on the same period last year. Sales had been growing since February 2012. Year-to-date sales remain strong, up 6.4% to the same point in 2014. A total of 2,274,550 cars have been registered so far in 2015.
SMMT Chief Executive, Mike Hawes, said: “The UK market has gone through a period of unprecedented growth and, so far, 2015 has been a bumper year with the strongest performance since the recession. as expected, demand has now begun to level off but the sector is in a strong position, as low interest rates, consumer confidence and exciting new products combine to attract new car buyers.”
Sales of diesel cars fell 2.1%, leading some commentators to suggest that the dieselgate scandal is starting to bite. The BBC reports that sales of VW Group brands, which lie at the heart of the scandal, fell 9.8%. However, Vauxhall suffered a 16% drop and the VW Golf was the third best-selling car of the month, so drawing a causal link is tricky.
Alternatively fuelled vehicles continue to outpace the market, sales rising 13.8% year-on-year in October. Year-to-date sales are up 44.8%, accounting for 2.7% of the overall market.
October’s best sellers:
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By Only Motors