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Battery powered cars proving a hit with Brits

September sales figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders show a staggering 236.4% increase in pure electric models registered, albeit from a low point 12 months earlier.
But their sales would have been higher if manufacturers had supplied more and there is now a waiting list for the lowest carbon emissions models.
Mercedes-Benz were the most surprising brand improvement last month with almost 30,400 sales moving them into second place behind Ford on just over 32,500 and BMW was third with 27,834 registrations, ousting Vauxhall into fourth place with 27,403 models.
There were still ten-times as many diesel models sold in September but their downward slide continued with 20.3% dip to record the 30th consecutive month of dropping.
Petrol models notched a 4.5% increase to 224,828 among the 343,255 new cars registered and recorded by the SMMT.
Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive, said, “September’s modest growth belies the ongoing downward trend we’ve seen over the past 30 months.

“We expected to see a more significant increase in September, similar to those seen in France, Germany, Italy and Spain, given the negative effect WLTP had on all European markets last year. Instead, consumer confidence is being undermined by political and economic uncertainty. We need to restore stability to the market which means avoiding a ‘no deal’ Brexit and, moreover, agreeing a future relationship with the EU that avoids tariffs and barriers that could increase prices and reduce buyer choice.”

The UK new car market declined -2.5% in the first three quarters of the year. September saw modest year-on-year growth following a substantial -20.5% decline in the same month in 2018, when new emissions regulations and lack of testing capacity across Europe affected supply.

The growth, representing some 4,421 units, was not enough to recover losses of over 87,000 in last year’s important plate-change month, however, leaving the year-to-date market trailing some 49,000 units behind this time in 2018 and the worst performance over nine months since 2013. It is also in stark contrast to other major European markets, which this September rallied in double digits.

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In Wales, sales dipped very slightly in September to 11,880 new cars.

The top ten were:

  • Ford Fiesta
  • Vauxhall Corsa
  • Ford Focus
  • Ford Kuga
  • Ford Ecosport
  • Nissan Qashqai
  • Toyota Yaris
  • Mercedes A-Class
  • Toyota Aygo
  • Volkswagen Golf
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