(ShareCast News) - UK new car sales have skidded lower for an eighth consecutive month, entirely from falling demand for diesel vehicles.
Just over 163,500 new cars were registered in November, down 11.2% against the same month last year as diesel sales fell 30.6%.
For 2017 as a whole, new car registrations in 2017 of 2.39m are down 5.0% on 2016, the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders revealed, due in large part to changing government treatment of diesel engines.
Electric care and other alternatively fuelled vehicles continued to make significant sales gains, growing 33.1%.
Petrol car sales grew 5.0% in the month.
Business, fleet and private registrations all fell in the month, down -33.6%, -14.4% and -5.1% respectively. Registrations fell across all body types except specialist sports, which grew 6.7%. The biggest declines were seen in the executive and mini segments, which decreased -22.2% and -19.8% respectively, while demand in the supermini segment contracted by -15.4%.
Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive, said: "An eighth month of decline in the new car market is a major concern, with falling business and consumer confidence exacerbated by ongoing anti-diesel messages from government.
"Diesel remains the right choice for many drivers, not least because of its fuel economy and lower CO2 emissions. The decision to tax the latest low emission diesels is a step backwards and will only discourage drivers from trading in their older, more polluting cars. Given fleet renewal is the fastest way to improve air quality, penalising the latest, cleanest diesels is counterproductive and will have detrimental environmental and economic consequences."