UK manufacturers’ sales of mid-range diesel cars declined sharply last year, new figures from the Office for National Statistics have shown today. Sales of these cars, either for home use or export, were £6.444 billion in 2018, down a third on 2017’s figure of £9.758 billion. The number of cars sold also fell by over a third.
Sales of mid-range diesel cars – those with engines between 1.5 litres and 2.5 litres – peaked in 2016 at 630,000 vehicles, worth £10.625bn. They fell somewhat into 2017: at 535,000 cars, volume was down 15.1%. But in 2018, only 352,000 cars were sold, down 34.3% on the previous year and down 44.2% on the 2016 peak. Meanwhile, the sale of petrol-engined cars rose from 867,000 vehicles in 2016 to 1.060 million in 2018, an increase of 22.3%.
Commenting on the figures, ONS statistician Jon Gough said:
“Vehicle production as a whole was slightly down. However, our new figures show the extent to which the car industry is moving away from diesel vehicles, and instead placing a much greater emphasis and increased resources on hybridisation and electrification.”
These figures are part of the 2018 report on UK manufacturers’ sales by product, usually known as ‘Prodcom’. This gives a very detailed breakdown on manufacturers’ sales across a wide variety of products, whether for home use or export; it does not cover imports from overseas manufacturers.
Other key points include: