Automotive News, January 2020


More electric cars were registered in the UK during 2019 than any other year to date, as diesel car registrations fell by more than one-fifth on a year-on-year basis.  That is according to new industry data released today (6 January) by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMTT).

The data reveals that the number of new car registrations fell by 2.4% between 2018 and 2019 – a trend the SMTT attributes, in part, to environmental concerns and anticipation around incoming clean air legislation.  The largest fall was recorded in diesel cars – 21.8% fewer were registered in 2019 than in 2018.

New car registrations in the UK last year fell to their lowest level since 2013, according to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).  It was the third consecutive year of decline, and the SMMT expects that trend to continue in 2020.

Those expectations are largely due to weak consumer confidence and confusion over clean-air legislation.  The organisation also says the industry is facing serious challenges adapting to new emissions legislation.  It says new rules will require a huge expansion in the use of electric and hybrid cars.

Jaguar Land Rover sales fell by 5.9% last year on 2018 to 557,706 cars.  The luxury car maker, which has its engine manufacturing plant at the i54 north of Wolverhampton, sold 396,105 Land Rovers – down 3.8% – and 161,601 Jaguar vehicles.  Last month retail sales were 52,814 – up1.3% on December 2018. Land Rover was up 9.6% to 39,442 and Jaguar down 17.3% to 13,372.

For the month JLR was boosted by China where sales were up 26.3% year-on-year – a sixth successive month of double-digit growth. This offset lower sales in North America (down 1.1%t, UK (a fall of 2.9%) and Europe (5.3% fewer).

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) and Groupe PSA, the parent companies of Fiat Chrysler and Peugeot, have claimed their merger will place the newly created entity at “the forefront of a new era of sustainable mobility”.

The two automotive giants issued a joint statement in November 2019 confirming their intention to complete a £30bn merger within the next 12 to 15 months, subject to the approval of US and European regulators.

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