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Positive news for the car industry

We’ve finally had some positive news from the car industry. Figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) show the UK new car market grew 10.4% in April, with 167,911 new units registered.

Demand was affected by several factors, including the timing of Easter, which meant two additional selling days this April, and March’s adverse weather, which pushed some deliveries into April.

Most significant, however, were the VED changes that came into force last April, causing a pull forward into March 2017 and a subsequent depressed April market.

Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive, said: “It’s important not to look at one month in isolation and, given the major disruption to last April’s market caused by sweeping VED changes, this increase is not unexpected. While the continuing growth in demand for plug-in and hybrid cars is positive news, the market share of these vehicles remains low and will do little to offset damaging declines elsewhere. Consumers need certainty about future policies towards different fuel types, including diesel, and a compelling package of incentives to deliver long-term confidence in the newest technologies.”

Demand for petrol cars grew in April, up 38.5%, while diesel registrations continued the recent trend, declining -24.9%.

Meanwhile, registrations of plug-in and hybrid electric cars continued to rise, up 49.3%, thanks to manufacturer investment in a growing choice of models. While the growth is welcome, these alternatively fuelled vehicles still account for just 5.6% of the market.

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Posted on 21st May 2018 at 11:12 AM

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