UK new-car sales seem to have been hampered by the Brexit referendum in June, dropping for only the second time in more than four years.
New-car registrations in UK fell by 0.8 percent in June, according to the monthly report released by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, the exact month when Britain decided to leave the European Union. However, Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive, said that so far it was too soon to determine whether the referendum result has had an impact on the new car market, adding although that the government should take every measure necessary to restore business and economic confidence and to avoid a further contraction of the automotive market in the coming months. But this has to be a direct impact of the vote, as carmakers usually make efforts to improve their sales reports towards the end of each month.
So far this year, the UK new car market grew by 3.2 percent to 1,420,636 new cars, the best half-year performance ever recorded. SMMT said alternatively fuelled vehicles continued to gain traction, increasing 21.3 percent compared to the first six months of 2015, for now to account for only 3.2 percent of the overall market. Many analysts projected the British new-vehicle registrations would take a downward path because of a weaker confidence of the buyers, as a result of the Brexit. LMC Automotive predicted a 120,000 drop in sales this year and about 400,000 in each of the next two years.