"The UK new car market declined —9.3% in July, according to figures published today by SMMT, the fourth consecutive monthly fall. 161,997 new cars were registered in the month as the market continues to fall amidst growing uncertainty over Brexit and in line with forecasts," the press release read.
The press release noted that the number of new registered petrol and diesel cars had decreased by 3 percent and 20.1 percent respectively, while the demand for alternatively fueled vehicles had increased by 64.9 percent in July. Therefore, according to the SMMT, the market share of alternatively fueled vehicles has increased by 2.5 percent since last year and reached 5.5 percent.
"The fall in consumer and business confidence is having a knock on effect on demand in the new car market and government must act quickly to provide concrete plans regarding Brexit. While it’s encouraging to see record achievements for alternatively fuelled vehicles, consumers considering other fuel types will have undoubtedly been affected by the uncertainty surrounding the government’s clean air plans," SMMT Chief Executive Mike Hawes said, as quoted in a press release.
On June 23, 2016, the United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union in a referendum. Brexit negotiations between the United Kingdom and the European Union officially kicked off on June 19, and are due to be completed by the end of March 2019. While the UK government had pledged to keep EU standards on environmental protection following Brexit, possible deviations have not been ruled out and sufficient political will to preserve such standards has not been shown.