UK car market in “rude health”, says industry chief

Rachel Burgess
24 May 2018
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The UK car market remains in “rude health”, according to Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders chief executive Mike Hawes.

He described car sales in the first four months of the year as “erratic” but added that it would not be changing its forecast of 2.4 million car sales this year, predicting that the rest of 2018 will be more stable.

His take on the state of the car market follows a tumultuous time for the automotive industry in the UK with job cuts announced at both Jaguar Land Rover and Nissan plants earlier this year. 

These have been blamed on the dramatic decline in diesel car sales and a lack of consumer confidence as a result of Brexit.

While Hawes projected confidence on the car market, he recognised these issues, stating that business and consumer confidence had declined especially for big-ticket purchases.

He also called out the government for its policy on diesel. “Confusion over government policy on diesel – which was entire unavoidable – is causing many motorists to sit on their hands,” he said.