UK car sales fall for 12th month running after 15.7% slump in March – business live











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Britain’s car industry has now suffered its longest drop in sales in over six years.

The last time it fell for so many consecutive months was between July 2010 and July 2011 (13 months).





































UK car sale slump confirmed

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Car industry: Weak confidence is hitting sales

Mike Hawes, chief executive of the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, has confirmed that March’s UK car sales figures (due in 50 minutes) were “undoubtedly grim”.

Hawes also warned that Brexit uncertainty continues to cast a shadow over the sector.

He told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme:


“All the indicators are that consumer and business confidence has declined, especially for the big ticket items. A car is the second biggest thing you’re likely to buy.

“The industry is facing this uncertainty since the referendum. We’re an industry that operates on wafer thin margins so anything that’s going to affect the competitiveness of each of those plants is going to put a lot of pressure on. Now models, allocations tent to happen every four, maybe five years, so we can see ahead to when some of those decision points are. What we need is as much certainty in an uncertain world and trying to retain as many of the benefits as we currently have with our relationship with Europe, because it is by far our biggest market and it’s right on our doorstep.

“The transitional deal has given us a bit of certainty for an additional 21 months and it gives us the time to be able to negotiate what that future relationship is going to look like. For us we’ve been very clear, we need to make sure there’s no tariffs, ideally staying within the customs union and indeed the single market. That’s what’s made us so competitive and enabled us to grow since the recession. We don’t want to see that go backwards.”

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The agenda: Car sales slide again

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