New car sales see 3rd year of decline

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New Car

Car registrations have dropped for a third year running as the new car market continues to suffer.

According to new data from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), the new car retail declined by 4.8 per cent year-on-year.

Overall 1.4 million cars have been sold, down 1.3 per cent on last year, but the SMMT said this was “in line with forecasts”.

Diesel cars saw the sharpest decline, dropping 14.7 per cent.

Petrol cars edged up 2.5 per cent and alternatively fueled vehicles saw a 29 per cent boost, bringing their market share to 4.4 per cent from 3.2 per cent a year prior.

READ MORE: Volvo reports another record breaking year of retail sales

“As forecast, demand for new cars has started to cool following five consecutive years of solid growth but the numbers are still strong and the first half of the year is the second biggest on record,” SMMT chief executive Mike Hawes said.

“Provided consumer and business confidence holds, we expect demand to remain at a similarly high level over the coming months.

“It’s encouraging to see alternatively fuelled vehicles experiencing rapid growth but adoption is still at a relatively low level and more long-term incentives are required if this new generation of vehicles is to be a more common sight on British roads.”

The news comes the same day as Volvo announced plans to become the first car retailer to sell only electric cars, doing away with pure fossil fuel engines altogether by 2019.

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