Scots new car sales fall by a quarter 06 | 12 | 2017

    NEW CAR SALES in Scotland plummeted by a quarter last month, and the Scottish Motor Trade Association pointed the finger directly at politicians for the dramatic drop. Both Westminster and Holyrood politicians were blamed for creating the double whammy of concerns over Brexit, and the continued “demonisation of diesel”. (Related: UK diesel registrations drop 31%)

    The latest figures from the SMTA confirmed the market has suffered a decline of 24.17% compared to November 2016. Only 11,585 new cars were registered last month, compared to 15,278 in November 2016. (Related: Demonisation of diesels "is unfair")

    While the new Ford Fiesta was the top selling model in Scotland last month, with 461 unites leaving the showrooms, the Vauxhall Corsa remains the year’s bestseller with 8033 units. (Related: SMTA — "Budget failed to deliver")


    Vauxhall continues to be the bestselling manufacturer in Scotland with 21,805 units so far this year, representing an 11.28% market share. Both figures are down from 26,465 and 12.71% over the corresponding period in 2016.

    Ford holds the No2 slot, ahead of Volkswagen, Audi and Renault.

    The biggest drop in sales last month was experienced by dealers in Strathclyde, which saw a 36.55% fall over November 2016, down from 8695 to just 5517.


    Only Central and Highlands saw an improvement, though the figures were small. Central grew 2.53%, up from 908 units in 2016 to 931; while the market in Highlands grew 2.15%, up from 650 to 664.

    "There can be no doubt that we are now seeing the full impact of the slowdown in the economy exacerbated by the double whammy brought about by the consumer concerns over Brexit and the continued process of 'the demonisation of diesel' by the politicians across the UK,” Sandy Burgess, SMTA Chief Executive, said.


    "The fact the used car market has continued to grow, especially in newer models with diesel engines, pays testimony to the resilience and determination that exists within our industry to meet the consumer demands to drive fresh, fuel efficient and safer vehicles, thereby contributing to a better environment for all."


    Both business and fleet sub-sectors also saw a fall in registrations for the month, at 47.52%  and 34.36% respectively, while retail was down by 9.48%.

    "The circumstances that we find our dealers having to trade in are far from ideal,” Burgess continued. “We are now looking at a UK market that is unlikely to exceed the 2.5 million mark and the outlook for 2018 is not at all promising.


    "The respective governments have to take responsibility to address the issues that they alone can control, and allow some clarity and thereby confidence to return to a market place upon which some 48,000 people rely on in Scotland alone."

    Related: Sales of diesel cars in Scotland slump 29.5% in October

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    Jim McGill

    All figures supplied by SMMT


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