Scottish new car sales motor ahead

Tougher emissions testing in the wake of the diesel scandal have impacted sales. Picture: Lynne Cameron/PA Wire
Tougher emissions testing in the wake of the diesel scandal have impacted sales. Picture: Lynne Cameron/PA Wire
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Scotland’s car dealers notched up a 7 per cent rise in new registrations last month, bucking the downward trend seen elsewhere in the UK.

Industry leaders pointed to a resilient start to December after figures showed 12,407 new cars were registered to Scottish addresses during November, up from 11,585 in the same month a year earlier.

Sandy Burgess, chief executive of the Scottish Motor Trade Association, said: “2018 has proved to be a very unsettling year for our industry, with the shortage of products that we experienced in our peak selling month of September due to the new WLTP regulations and the effects of that dreaded word Brexit on the consumer confidence.

“It really is testimony to the resilience of the Scottish market that we are experiencing growth in the twilight months of the year. December continues to record good activity levels across many manufacturers who are still seeking to secure business delayed by the aforementioned WLTP regulations. We are hopeful for a decent final month’s trading at this time.”

The most popular car in Scotland last month was the Ford Fiesta, with the Volkswagen Golf and VW T-Roc coming in second and third places, respectively.

The Scottish breakout figures follow Wednesday’s news that some 158,600 new cars were registered across the UK during November, down 3 per cent on the same month last year, according to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).

Registrations are down 6.9 per cent this year compared with the first 11 months of 2017.

SMMT chief executive Mike Hawes said: “Model and regulatory changes combined with falling consumer confidence conspired to affect supply and demand in November.”

Demand for alternatively fuelled vehicles such as hybrids and pure electrics increased by 24.6 per cent, year-on-year.