The UK new car market declined again in October, with 153,599 vehicles registered, according to figures released by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT). Deliveries fell by -2.9% in the month, as model changes and backlogs at test houses conducting tough new WLTP emissions certification, continued to cause shortages across some brands.
Declines were seen in both private and fleet sectors, with registrations down -1.0% and -5.2% respectively. Meanwhile, continuing uncertainty over government policy on diesel saw demand for these new, low-emission vehicles fall by a further -21.3%.
Registrations of petrol cars rose +7.1%, while the market for alternatively fuelled vehicles (AFVs) once again showed strong growth, up +30.7%, supported by new models.
Zero emission battery electric vehicles saw particularly impressive growth, up +86.9%, as 584 more people drove one home than in the same month last year. Hybrid and plug-in hybrid vehicles, which make up the majority of AFV sales due to their greater flexibility, also enjoyed strong uplifts, growing +31.0% and +19.1% respectively.
- During the first three quarters of the year, the BMW Group grew its worldwide sales by 1.3% (1,834,810 units), despite ongoing headwinds in several major sales regions. Sales in September were down 0.8% (237,781), as the company continued to follow its policy of prioritising profitable growth.
“In the face of a combination of exceptional challenges, we have achieved a steady sales result,” said Pieter Nota, member of the board of management of BMW AG responsible for sales and brand BMW. “The third quarter in Europe was significantly affected by market distortions caused by the introduction of the new WLTP testing procedure at the beginning of September.
“As we planned well ahead for the WLTP changeover, virtually all our current models are WLTP type-approved and available for delivery,” Nota continued. “One very positive aspect of our sales performance continues to be the growth in electrified vehicles.
“September was our best-ever single month for electrified sales and, with deliveries up over 40% in the year to date, we remain well on track to achieve our target of 140,000 electrified sales by the end of the year,” Nota concluded..