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UK Car Registrations Decline In August: SMMT

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UK car registrations declined in August as falling demand for diesel and plug-in-hybrid vehicles weighed on the overall market, data from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, or SMMT, showed Thursday.

Car sales dropped 1.6 percent year-on-year in August, which is typically one of the smallest months of the year, the auto industry lobby said.

Diesel car sales decreased for the 29th consecutive month. Sales logged a double-digit fall of 12.2 percent, but slower than the decrease seen recently. Meanwhile, sales of petrol cars, which represented about 64 percent of market share, grew marginally by 1 percent.

Driven by new models and pent up demand, zero emission cars posted the biggest percentage growth of 377.5 percent in August.

Further, data showed that registrations from both the private and fleet sectors declined in August, down 1.7 percent and 3.5 percent, respectively.

The year-to-date car sales decreased 3.4 percent from the same period last year.

Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive, said that August is typically the new car market's quietest month so the huge increase in electric vehicle registrations is very visible but especially welcome.

"To support a smooth transition and deliver environmental gains now, we need a long-term government commitment to measures that give consumers confidence to invest in the latest technologies that best suit their needs," Hawes added.

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