Most successful year for electric cars, but 2021 UK registrations just 1% higher than 2020
2021 UK car sales were stalled by Covid and its impact on the supply chain, the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders explains. 1.65 million new cars were registered in an increase of just 1.0 per cent on pandemic-ravaged 2020, making it the second-worst year since 1992. Sales were -28.7 per cent below pre-Covid levels thanks to headwinds, which included the semiconductor shortage. However, figures did show that the transition to electric cars is proceeding quickly. More than one in six registrations were plug-in, while battery electric cars alone rose to one in nine. Overall, the SMMT notes that this means more BEVs (Battery Electric Vehicles) were registered than in 2016-2020 combined. The society added that the UK auto industry is calling for the government to extend incentives and mandate chargepoint targets. It argues that the UK needs to accelerate consumer uptake of EVs, maintaining the country’s attractiveness against competitor markets.
UK’s LCV tyre market retained 2019 value in 2020 – GfK
The UK light commercial vehicle tyre market had a relatively dynamic year in 2020, with value and volume changes in certain sub-segments driven by an increase in higher rim diameter tyre sizes, as well as increased demand for all-season – and even winter – performance. According to GfK panelmarket data, which tracks points of sale, comparing the calendar year 2020 to 2019, these growth subsegments supported a 2020 light commercial vehicle tyre market value change across all rim sizes of 0 per cent, while volume was down only -2 per cent. While LCV operators were not entirely immune to the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic and its attendant lockdowns, these figures show how the essential services supported by van operators, such as last mile delivery resulting from booming e-commerce, allowed LCV tyres to achieve results within touching distance of pre-pandemic norms.
UK’s 19”-plus market dominated by premium summer fitments – GfK
The car tyres with the largest dimensions represented the segment least negatively affected by the pandemic and its lockdowns in Europe. While UHP tyre demand varied through the lockdowns of 2020 – as you might expect within a segment quickly trending towards 30 per cent of the entire European market – the negative trend was kept relatively under control. This was increasingly the case as you look further up the size range. Tyres & Accessories asked market analyst GfK to examine full-year panelmarket data, which tracks points of sale around the UK to indicate aftermarket tyre trends, for the top 19” and above car tyre segment in calendar year 2020 versus 2019. The infographic on this page shows its characteristics, as well as the relatively mild effects of the last year on retail sales of the highest performance tyres.
May van registration figures ‘clear indicator’ of growing economic confidence
Commenting on the SMMT’s figures for LCV registrations in May, Sue Robinson, Chief Executive of the National Franchised Dealers Association (NFDA) said: “It is extremely positive to see that light commercial vehicle registrations continued their upward trend with record sales in May, as increased confidence in the sector continues post lockdown.”
‘Great relief’ but recovery ‘might be slower’ than expected – analysts on car sales
Car registration figures may offer some relief for the embattled sector, but analysts have warned the recovery might be slower than first hoped. Andrew Burn, managing director and head of automotive at Interpath Advisory (formerly KPMG Restructuring), said of the May SMMT registration figures: “The latest registration figures will come as great relief to the sector given the tumultuous challenges it is grappling with. The numbers reflect the first full month of showroom openings, with volumes back to circa 2012 levels. The question now is where volumes will settle once we have moved beyond the pandemic and the new norms are established.
Car registrations ‘incredibly encouraging’ comments Carwow
Sepi Arani, director of OEM at the UK’s largest new car marketplace and comparison site www.carwow.co.uk, gives his thoughts on the May SMMT car registration figures and the EV takeover: “Its incredibly encouraging to see new car registrations on the rise and with EV’s taking a 13.8 per cent share of the registrations in 2021 so far, despite the naysayers, EV adoption is happening faster than many give credit for.
Cautious recovery in new car registrations during May
With the year’s first full month of showroom openings, new car registrations in May reached 156,737 units, according to the latest figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT). The total represents an almost eightfold increase on the same month last year, but is down -14.7 per cent on pre-pandemic May 2019, and -13.2 per cent on the 10-year May average.
Following the publication of our run-down of the top 10 UK tyre retails on Wednesday and then our overview of positions 11 to 20 yesterday, today’s concluding part of our 2021 tyre retail landscape series takes a closer look at positions 21 to 25 on the leader board, culminating in the addition of new entry Kerr’s Tyres in 25th place.
Autocentres growing in prominence – UK’s top tyre retailers 2021 (11-20)
As can be seen in the top 10 table published yesterday, Halfords Autocentres remains in second place nationally in our 2021 ranking of the UK’s largest retail operations by branch count. Continuing our three-article series on this subject, today’s instalment focuses on places 11 to 20 and finds that the medium to large sized positions are increasingly being taken by autocentre style businesses that make as much money from parts and repairs as they do from tyres (and more than traditional fast fits).
With a pandemic, an MOT extension and three lockdowns to contend with, describing the last year as “difficult” would be an understatement. Nevertheless, tyre retailers have demonstrated that they are not only key workers essential to keeping the British Isles rolling, but also versatile and resilient businesspeople during the last 12 months. A quick look at the top 25 UK tyre retail chains 2021 table reveals that it has been a more eventful year than normal in terms of branch openings and closings, but overall the clear message is one of consolidation. As a result, the top 25 UK tyre retail chains wield more power than ever. Specifically, the top 25 now run 2528 branches between them. When our coverage of this area began back at the end of the 2008/2009 tax year, the figure was 1978. During the interim, the rough estimate for the total number of tyre retailers national has stayed stable at around 10,000 specialists (that number is roughly double that if you include general garages). This means the top 25 occupy roughly 25 per cent of the number of branches, up 6 percentage points since 2009.
15 European Countries Had Highest Share of EVs in New Car Sales in 2020
European nations are leading the way in new Electric Vehicle (EV) sales despite the emergence of Mainland China as the biggest market for EVs. According to data presented by TradingPlatforms.com, 15 European countries had the highest share of plug-in EVs in new passenger car sales in 2020 - Norway had the highest at 75 per cent.
New van market records highest-ever April registrations
The light commercial vehicle market recorded its busiest ever April as 30,440 new vans were registered, according to the latest figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT). All vehicle segments saw artificially inflated growth rates relative to April 2020, when Covid restrictions shut down much of the economy, with an eight-fold increase in total units. Registrations were also well ahead of the five-year average, with April 2021 up by 23.2 per cent. With some 127,796 vans registered so far in 2021, uptake levels have returned to levels last seen in 2019.
Showroom reopenings offer glimmer of hope in April new car registrations
April saw an artificial 30-fold increase of UK new car registrations compared to the same month last year, but volumes still remained -12.9 per cent lower than the 10-year average at just 141,583 new units, according to the latest figures released by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT). This year’s monthly total dwarfed that recorded in April 2020, when the first national lockdown effectively shut the country, and just 4,321 cars were registered.
Demand for used hybrids increasing, says BuyaCar.co.uk
Surging demand for new hybrid cars is also being reflected in the used market, with the online car supermarket BuyaCar.co.uk reporting its highest-ever proportion of hybrid customers. But a gap is emerging between brands when it comes to the popularity of hybrid as a consumer choice over diesel or petrol, BuyaCar analysts say.
Two reasons European drivers choose all-season tyres – Nokian survey
More than half of European drivers with all-season tyres choose them for their convenience as all-season tyres do not need to be changed twice a year. Another reason, according to the survey conducted by Nokian Tyres in the past year, is the safety aspect. 50 per cent believe that all-season tyres are safe enough to use throughout the whole year in central Europe and they meet all the regulatory requirements for winter tyres. The survey was conducted in four countries: Germany, France, Italy and Poland. The new Nokian Seasonproof all-season tyre is designed for drivers who need reliability and first-class safety for snowy and slushy winter days but who also want top-notch performance and effortless driving feel in the summer.
Read our sister site WhatTyres most recommended all-season tyres for 2021, the winner of the inaugural WhatTyre All-Season Tyre of the Year, and why an all-season tyre was WhatTyres pick for the overall 2021 Tyre of the Year.