According to data by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), new car registrations in the UK fell by 5.7% in 2017. This marks the first time new car registrations have fallen in the past three years with just 2.54 million new cars registered in 2017.
The SMMT has reported that falling consumer confidence, worsening exchange rates and concerns over the future of diesel as the reason the decline. Chief Exec. of the SMMT, Mike Hawes said “We must keep perspective: this is not the industry falling off a cliff edge – it is a retraction from exceptional highs in the face of significant challenges. Diesel has suffered from confusion among consumers about its environmental impact, but we believe there is increasing clarity about the benefits of the latest engines. There is strong evidence that diesel owners have held off replacing their cars until they get clarity rather than simply going out and buying a petrol car instead, and our belief is that many of them will return to the market this year.”