UK demand for British-built new cars drops by almost half in June

UK demand for cars built in the country declined by a massive 47.2% in June — the result of “a perfect storm”, according to the UK’s automotive industry body.

Mike Hawes, chief executive of the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, said the fall was not only due to uncertainty on diesel vehicles and the “cataclysmic fall in consumer confidence” but was also due to the effects of new WLTP emissions tests coming into force on 1 September. Car makers are struggling to complete tests on all models ahead of that deadline, resulting in delays.

Hawes added that other key reasons include model changes from certain manufacturers and model allocation per country changing globally at some brands.

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While this initially appears a dismal situation, the bigger picture is more optimistic. Overall UK production figures for June, including both domestic and foreign demand, fell just 5.5% compared with June 2017, with 128,799 cars built. Cars made for export balanced out the weak UK demand, rising 6% year on year.

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