UK new car registrations fell by 14.3 per cent to 243,479 units in March. Despite manufacturers reporting robust order books during the first quarter, the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) shares that ongoing supply chain shortages – especially of semiconductors – continued to squeeze supply during what is normally a busy ‘new plate’ month.
According to figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), UK new car registrations rose by 15.0 per cent in February as 58,994 new cars joined Britain’s roads. This rise of 7,682 units was in comparison with the same month in 2021, when the pandemic shut car showrooms across the UK – registrations are down 25.9 per cent on pre-pandemic levels, as vehicle supply remains constrained by semiconductor shortages.
UK car production fell 20.1 per cent in January, to 68,790 units. The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) says this is the weakest January total since 2009. Output was down 17,262 units against the same month last year, which itself was one of the worst Januarys on record when volumes were impacted by friction in the new post-Brexit trading arrangements, extended shutdowns and the pandemic.
The UK automotive sector recorded a positive start to 2022 as 115,087 new cars were registered, according to the latest figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT). Registrations were up by more than a quarter (27.5 per cent) on January 2021, when lockdown restrictions kept car showrooms shut.
The National Franchised Dealers Association argues that there is cause for optimism in the new car sector based on strong consumer demand, despite a disappointing 1 per cent increase in new car registrations in 2021. Chief executive Sue Robinson said: “A poll conducted by NFDA revealed that 78.6 per cent of franchised vehicle dealers are optimistic about the level of demand in the year ahead as consumer confidence improves while we move through the pandemic and the electrification of the UK car parc continues apace.
Responding to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders’ 2021 new car registration data, analyst Deloitte has proclaimed 2021 “the year electric vehicles became mainstream”. It added that range issues are receding as a headwind thanks to technological progress. It identifies the speed of charge point infrastructure and the price of entry post-subsidies as the major headwinds for the sector in 2022.
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.
Last year, new car registrations grew by a marginal 1.0 per cent on a pandemic-ravaged 2020, as 1.65 million new cars entered the UK market. Figures released by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) underline the ongoing impact of Covid and the semiconductor shortage on the industry, with the market down 28.7 per cent on pre-pandemic 2019, representing the second worst year since 1992.
New car registrations grew 1.7 per cent year-on-year in November, bringing an end to four months of consecutive decline, with the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) reporting 115,706 units registered. However, this must be viewed in the context of a weak 2020, when lockdowns impacted registrations, including November. Compared to the pre-pandemic average, the market remains down significantly, with 31.3 per cent fewer vehicles registered during the month.
Demand for electric cars has continued to surge even during a quiet August ahead of the registration plate change. The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) figures show that even as new car registrations fell by -22.0 per cent, demand for battery electric (BEV), hybrid (HEV) and plug-in hybrid (PHEV) vehicles rose 32.2, 45.7 and 72.1 per cent respectively. Overall, the UK new car market is up 20.3 per cent versus Covid-hit 2020, though the pandemic remains a blight on the market due in part to chip shortages.
July’s new car registrations fell by -29.5 per cent to 123,296 units, according to the latest figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT). The decline was artificially heightened by comparison with the same month last year, when registrations rose dramatically as showrooms enjoyed a full month’s operation following the first 2020 lockdown.
The European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA) reports that passenger car registrations in the European Union increased again in June 2021 compared to the same month of last year, rising 10.4 per cent to 1,048,143 units. When factoring in the UK, which experienced a 28.0 per cent year-on-year increase to 186,128 new registrations, as well as EFTA markets, Europe-wide registrations of passenger cars increased 13.3 per cent to 1,282,503 units in June.
Registrations of new cars in June grew 28.0 per cent year-on-year to 186,128, according to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT)’s latest figures. The monthly performance was again artificially lifted through comparison with June 2020, when the UK began to emerge from the first pandemic lockdown and showrooms in England opened up at the beginning of the month.
It’s no surprise that considerably more new cars were sold throughout the European Union in May 2021 than during the corresponding month of last year. Indeed, upon reporting the 891,665 new registrations for the month, a 53.4 per cent year-on-year increase compared with May 2020, the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA) notes that the bar was set low by the lockdowns and various restrictions in place throughout Europe a year ago. In order to place the latest registration figures into context, the ACEA points out that no less than 1.2 million passenger cars were sold within the region in May 2019, 26.7 per cent higher than last month’s figure.
Kwik Fit has taken a look at data published by the government and notes that the pandemic was responsible for an additional quarter of a million cars being taken off UK roads. The automotive servicing and repair company reached this conclusion after comparing the number of vehicles officially off road with a registered SORN (Statutory Off Road Notification) in the last quarter of 2020 with figures for the final quarter of 2019.