A record 43 months of New car market growth ends with a 1% decline

Published Date: 26th Nov 2015

  • New car registrations see 1% decline in October
  • Total market year-to-date up 6.4% to 2,274,550 vehicles registered 
  • Alternatively fuelled vehicle market rises 8%,diesel and petrol hold steady.
  • VW Group Scandal may have played a part in this month’s small decline.

car lot


New Car Registrations October 2015

Figures released this month by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) show UK new car registrations dropped for the first time in more than three and a half years as market growth levelled off in October 2015. 177,664 new cars were registered in October, representing a slight decrease of 1.1% on last year’s figure and following a record 43 consecutive months of growth.


Year to Date Figures

Year-to-date figures strongly demonstrate that the new car market is still very buoyant – 2,274,550 cars have been registered so far this year, 6.4% more than at this time in 2014, and the best year-to-date performance on record.


Diesel vs Petrol vs Alternative fuels

Diesel and petrol market shares remained stable, while the demand for alternatively fuelled vehicles (AFVs) continues to show positive growth. October AFV volumes were up by 13.8%, reaching 3% of the total market for the first time, as more consumers switch to an ever more diverse range of ultra low emission vehicles. The high-value market segments saw the biggest gains, with specialist sports and luxury saloon vehicle registrations growing 59.0% and 23.1% respectively.


A word from the SMMT

Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive, said, “The UK car 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. The current full-year growth forecast remains on track.”


The VW Group effect

The VW Group has been in the news more than at any other point in its history, and not much of it is very positive. Many critics have arisen since the scandal began; some UK consumers have joined the party. The actual fault will not really affect UK customers who’ve bought a car from VW, as VW will be footing the bill for all fees relating to the scandal. The figures for this month show a small decline and VW can be blamed for this because – Many customers have lost a little faith in the brand, and feel betrayed and deceived. Some have cancelled orders, but many have put buying a car on hold till they see the bigger picture. It is expected that car sales will receive a big bump in figures once the issues at VW and around the world have been resolved.


New Car Registration Data  

car figures

Data and info courtesy of SMMT