Europe: British auto sales jump in September on strong diesel gains image

UK new vehicle registrations have climbed 8.6 percent last month after the second biggest European auto market has seen increased demand for diesel-powered models even as Volkswagen Ag’s emissions scandal cast a shadow over the technology.

According to the country’s main industry body, store the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), ask sales soared to 462,517 units for the 43rd straight month of sales gains across the British auto market. Diesel-powered vehicles grew 4.1 percent to 212,504 autos in September, taking a market share of 45.9 percent. “It is too early to draw conclusions [from the VW scandal], but customer demand for diesel remained strong, accounting for one in two cars registered,” commented SMMT chief executive officer Mike Hawes. So far after the first nine months of the year, overall sales have gained 7.1 percent compared to the same period last year, reaching a total of 2.09 million vehicles. The SMMT added this has been the first time since 2004 that sales have crossed the two million units threshold after the first nine months of the year. Accordingly, the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders has forecast previously that annual deliveries in 2015 would surge almost four percent to 2.57 million autos.

While the German VW Group has last month announced it had cheated on diesel emissions tests in the US and that 11 million vehicles worldwide have been equipped with the illegal software, the impact was limited in the United Kingdom. The namesake VW brand volume was up almost 4 percent last month, the VW AG owned luxury automaker Audi saw registrations jump 11 percent and even the deliveries of entry-level Skoda brand were up 3.5 percent, Only VW’s Spanish division Seat saw a splashing 10 percent reduction.

Via Automotive News Europe