So far this year, the United Kingdom new vehicle market has declined 5.1 per cent, with registrations by business, private and fleet buyers all down, 29.8 per cent, 7.1 per cent and 2.1 per cent respectively.
In general demand for petrol and alternatively fuelled vehicles (AFVs) rose last month in the United Kingdom with petrol sales up 14.4 per cent and AFV sales rising by 7.2 per cent.
"Our recent research showed that 67% of United Kingdom drivers did not want an electric or hybrid as their next auto which is reflected in the significant increase in petrol vehicle registrations".
In November's Budget, Chancellor Philip Hammond announced a tax hike on new diesel cars from April 1.
Despite double-digit growth in petrol registrations, it still remains unable to make up for the fall in diesel, which now has a 35.6% market share.
"According to the SMMT's New Car CO2 Report, the average CO2 emissions figure for new cars rose in 2017 for the first time in 19 years, which could be an unintended outcome of the push against diesel over the past 12 months or so". He added that consumers should be reassured "that the latest cars are the cleanest in history and can help address air quality issues".
SMMT chief Mike Hawes said the industry expected a "further softening" of sales in March.
UK car registrations slide in February as diesel demand continues to fall
Fleet and business registrations were down nearly 3.4%, from 47,100 to 45,528 units, when compared to February 2017.
What's the leasing view on February's new vehicle market?
Alex Buttle, director of comparison website Motorway.co.uk said that the figures showed more had to be done to promote AFV as viable purchases.
The rest of the auto market did not see a slump and sales in petrol cars rose by 14.4 percent. That should set alarm bells ringing in government but the bells are worryingly silent.
The reverse is being attributed to less demand for diesel vehicles after the Government unveiled plans past year to ban the sale of all conventional diesel and petrol cars by 2040.
What's the most popular vehicle? "But there's a lot of silence and very little action, so consumers don't see any reason to buy AFVst".
The SMMT noted this was a disappointing performance saying the latest low emission vehicles could help address air quality issues.
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On the eve of the session, Guatemala joined the United States in announcing that it will move its embassy in Israel to Jerusalem. Trump reiterated that argument Monday and added, "So this gives us a real opportunity to (achieve) peace".