“Today’s car sales figures, which reveal a 9% slide in September, are benchmarked against 2016, which was a record year and the whole market perception was that there would be a correction this year. 9% is high but in reality, sales are only 3.9% down over the whole of 2017 to date, so the situation is not as concerning as is being reported.
“There are some general economic issues which are causing some downturn in sales however the confusion over the future of diesel cars, which I don’t think has been clearly explained, is not helping matters. This is an issue that the government and the manufacturers need to clarify and publicise more clearly.
“Last year, there was a push to register cars to meet targets so the high figures that were reported masked the true sales numbers. 2016 sales weren’t fully representative of the sector as they reflected a large number of pre-registered vehicles. A number of our clients have reviewed their strategies and it would appear that the dealers are now more focused on profits and less about chasing the registration numbers.”