UK new car registrations fell by a modest 1.6 per cent in January – but demand for electrified vehicles increased yet again.
In total, 161,013 models left the forecourts, compared with 163,615 during the same period in 2018, according to figures released today by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).
Diesel registrations were hit the hardest, with 46,823 cars registered compared with 58,713 last year – a decline of 20.3 per cent. Petrol sales, in contrast, were on the up: 103,176 cars were registered during the month against 96,183 registrations during January 2018 – a rise of 7.3 per cent.
Meanwhile, alternatively fuelled vehicles continued to experience increased demand. Total registrations chimed in at 11,014 – a significant increase over the 8,719 vehicles registered last year. It represents an upward swing of 26.3 per cent, and the segment now commands a 6.8 per cent market share.
Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive, said: “It’s encouraging to see car registrations in January broadly on par with a year ago as the latest high-tech models and deals attracted buyers into showrooms. This, however, is still the fifth consecutive month of overall decline in the market.
“To restore momentum, we need supportive policies, not least on vehicle taxation, to encourage buyers to invest in new, cleaner vehicles that best suit their driving needs – from the latest petrols and diesels to an ever-growing range of exciting electrified vehicles. This would be good for the environment and good for the industry and those who depend on it.”
The Ford Fiesta topped the list of best-sellers during January with 5,399 units shifted, followed by the Ford Focus and Nissan Qashqai with 4,397 and 4,270 respectively.