I read in a recent BBC news story that new car registrations in the UK fell to their lowest level since 2013, according to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).
It is the third successive year of decline and the SMMT expects the trend to continue in 2020. The reasons appear to be lack of consumer confidence and confusion over clean-air regulation with the industry struggling to meet the serious challenges of new emissions legislation.
The SMMT concludes that the biggest danger to the sector, however, is the fallout from Brexit.
Their figures show a total of 2.31 million new cars were registered in 2019, 2.4% down on the previous year. A key factor was the fall in demand for diesel fuelled vehicles, which fell by 22% on 2018 figures. Until recently diesel powered cars accounted for half of all new cars sold. This is now down to just a quarter of the market.
The loss of the diesel powered market, confusion over future air quality legislation, political uncertainty and a fall in consumer confidence appears to have created a perfect storm. In the circumstances, it seems many potential buyers are plumping to keep their old cars on the road instead.