Nice surprise as new car sales up more than expected in 2014
11 February 2015
Diesel power adopted a dominant position in 2014, despite some noises about its effect on local air pollution. A total of 50.1% of new cars registered in 2014 were diesel, compared with 49.8% the previous year, and Hawes doesn't predict any dramatic change to the influence of diesel.
It still offers a significant advantage in fuel economy. For a lot of people's driving it meets their needs, and customers must choose the most appropriate powertrain," he says. "There is an emerging concern about diesel and contribution to poorer air quality, but Euro6 is a proven step forward."
2015 is described by the SMMT boss as "a difficult year to predict", and the current forecast predicts small progress. "We think it will be stable - 1-2% growth," he says. "There are a number of different issues affecting the forecast; for example, the General Election and the fairly challenging financial situation for whoever ends up in charge, and potential tax increases and cuts on spending.
"But oil prices seem set to stay low, interest rates are low and the Bank of England forecasts a slow increase in inflation, so the economic indicators are pretty sound, although I would like to see stronger European trading."
The SMMT's forecast for 2015 is currently a market up 1.3% to 2.49 millions units, with diesel dropping slightly to a 49.2% market share, while the 2016 forecast also stands at 2.49 million units.
So it seems that after a few years of fairly rapid growth, the new car registration market is set for a couple of years of welcome stability.