UK Sales Slump 12% In Oct. In 7th Monthly Decline

LONDON -- UK new-car sales in October fell by 12 percent to 158,193, marking a seventh consecutive month of decline.

Sales were hurt by a decline in business and consumer confidence, said the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), which released >data

on Monday.

Demand for diesel cars slumped by about 30 percent, the industry body said. Diesels accounted for 39.4 percent of the new-car market, compared with 49.3 percent in October last year.

Registrations in the first 10 months are down 4.6 percent to 2.24 million.

The SMMT urged the British government to use this month's autumn budget to restore stability to the market and encourage the purchase of the latest low-emission vehicles.

Vauxhall, Ford slip

PSA Group's newly acquired Vauxhall brand was among the biggest losers last month after its registrations fell 35 percent. Peugeot sales dropped 12 percent and Citroen's volume was down 14 percent. Registrations at rival Renault brand declined by 27 percent.

Other big losers included Nissan, whose sales fell 31 percent, and Fiat brand, which dropped 27 percent.

Among premium brands, BMW's sales decreased by 18 percent, Audi's registrations fell 6.5 percent and Mercedes-Benz sales gained 7 percent.

Registrations at Ford, the UK market's top-selling brand, slipped 8.5 percent, while sales at No. 2, VW brand, fell 1.9 percent.

• Click above right for October, ten-month UK sales by brand

The UK's decline contrasted with rises in other big European markets, which >released October registrations last week

. Sales in France and Spain rose 14 percent, while Italy's market was up 7 percent and sales in Germany gained 4 percent.

Automotive News Europe contributed to this report

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