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UK car sales slide in 2018 before Brexit: data

AFP  |  London 

New UK slid in 2018 on weak demand for diesel vehicles, and will fall further this year on poor and Brexit, an industry body said Monday.

Sales sank 6.8 per cent to 2.367 million vehicles after a 5.7-per cent drop in 2017, the (SMMT) said in a statement.

Consumers continued to ditch diesel cars for automobiles seen as more environmentally-friendly.

With on the horizon in March, the SMMT forecast that the market faces another 2.0-per cent decline this year.

"The challenges before us are something of a perfect storm," said SMMT

"It's causing considerable worry and agitation across boardrooms both in the UK and abroad." He added it would be "unfair" to attribute the entire sales drop to fears but cautioned that falling had curbed people's desire to make a "big ticket purchase".

Some diesel vehicle owners are switching to petrol or alternatively fuelled vehicles, but most are keeping their existing cars owing to uncertainty over how they will be taxed, the SMMT noted.

Britain is scheduled to leave the on March 29.

Since Britain voted to leave the bloc in June 2016, a drop in sterling - making imported goods more expensive - has fuelled inflation and put a major squeeze on household budgets.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Mon, January 07 2019. 19:01 IST