The British new car market experienced a resurgence in sales in August, with last month's registrations rising 23.1 percent.
Insiders in the industry, however, called the turnout a "false economy", where demand was stimulated by a number of dealer discounts on models that did not meet a new emissions standard that came into force in September.
Huge showroom deals were offered last month on these cars as manufacturers will no longer be able to use them as & # 39; new & # 39; models with the latest 68 board to sell.
Fake Economy August was a strong month for the new auto industry, but experts warn that it will have major implications for demand in September – which is one of the most important months of the market
According to the new figures released by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, 94,094 vehicles were registered in August.
Although it is a significant increase of the 76,433 units sold in the same month last year, even the industry spokesman agreed that this was due to a highly discounted market.
It said: & # 39; … the market reacted to regulatory changes, with well-qualified buyers taking advantage of a number of attractive deals in what is always one of the smallest months of the year. & # 39;
This is because brands offer huge discounts on certain models that are no longer eligible to be sold as new cars because they do not comply with the new emission rules introduced by the EU.
The more stringent emission requirements are part of a new test called WLTP (Worldwide Harmonized Light Vehicle Test) – and some models do not meet stricter restrictions.
As a result, some vehicles were available with up to a third knocked off their list price, as dealers desperately looked to move the remaining stock.
All those cars that do not meet the standards and can not be sold with the new 68 plate introduced this month will be pre-registered by dealers and offered as cars with or without low mileage. .
Mike Hawes, chief executive at SMMT, also noted that although sales improvement was positive, August is one of the quietest months for dealer activity and registrations for 2018 are still down 4.2 percent.
SMMT figures showed that total demand increased by 23.1% year-on-year, but admitted that this was mainly due to the huge discounts offered by dealers on some cars.
New regulations introduced in September mean that every car sold with the latest 68 plate must comply with the latest WLTP emission standards. Those who did not meet this requirement were heavily discounted by dealers in August because they wanted to clean up the existing stock
& # 39; Given August is always a small month in registrations of new cars prior to September's major plate change month, it would be wrong to see the market as a booming, & # 39; he said.
In fact, a number of important differences have occurred in the past month as regulatory changes have disrupted some provisions.
In the long term, however, the new emissions registration test will give the consumer confidence in the performance of all vehicles, so that they can choose the latest, cleanest technology that best suits his driving behavior, whether petrol, diesel, hybrid or plugs. -in. & # 39;
Ian Plummer, director at Auto Trader, said the changes in regulations last month were indeed a false economy & # 39; had influenced car sales and that the figures could make an important nose dive in September.
He said: "August was definitely a buyer's market this year, as consumers made the most of the great deals that were offered because many manufacturers were trying to beat themselves to beat the deadline of the new global harmonized light vehicle test regulations.
& # 39; This was perhaps a very strong August, but of course it is a false economy.
"As we saw in March 2017, when registrations were brought forward for the changes to Vehicle Excise Duty, WLTP will exert tremendous pressure on September.
In addition, the delay in producing and approving new cars under the new rules is likely to continue in the fourth quarter, which will make sales more difficult as retailers and consumers are limited to what is available. & # 39; ;
The inflated demand made the best August last month on record, according to SMMT statistics
carwow ceo Andrew Hooks added: & # 39; All dealers and manufacturers have been aggressive with savings and incentives. In August Honda, Suzuki, Volkswagen and Audi and others had all promotions.
& # 39; However, this peak is also due to dealers having pre-registered many vehicles by the end of August.
& # 39; All pre-registration that has taken place means that there are currently a lot of attractively priced cars available for drivers.
& # 39; For the industry, however, the conditions of sale become stricter as the competition increases and the supply is limited for some manufacturers.
Although the figures were slightly inflated by these deals, it was a strong month for the sale of alternative fuel vehicles (AFVs).
The growing range of hybrid, plug-in hybrid and pure electric cars in the United Kingdom continued to attract buyers who wanted to dump diesel in their herds.
Demand for these greener cars rose by 89 percent in August, with electrified cars that accounted for eight percent of all sales.
This may be a very strong August, but of course it is a false economy
Ian Plummer, Auto Trader
This helped offset an almost eight percent drop in diesel records, although gasoline usually closed the gap with an increase of 39 percent in demand.
Alex Buttle, director and car sales platform Motorway.co.uk, said the improvement performance of AFV vehicles was positive, but these increases in demand must be replicated consistently if the government wants to move to an electrified vehicle network.
"The sale of electric cars has had an impressive month, but we have to put this figure in the right context," he said.
Last year, less than 4,000 new cars were sold in the corresponding month, so these growth figures will hardly put the world in the spotlight.
"However, it feels like there is now a momentum behind sales figures and there are positive signs that consumers are more comfortable with the switch to electric and hybrid vehicles.
& # 39; But the AFV market is under enormous pressure every month to hit this kind of statistics and we still need to see more government support in terms of financial incentives, rather than just complex strategy papers. & # 39;
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