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.
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.
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: “It’s 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.”
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.
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.
The car registration data from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) for the month of March shows that the UK new car market recorded its first ‘growth’ since August 2020, with 29,280 more units registered during March compared to the same month last year. However, the month represents the anniversary of the first lockdown in March 2020, when the pandemic brought Britain to a standstill and registrations fell by -44.4 per cent.
The UK new car market declined by -35.5 per cent in February as 28,282 fewer units were registered during a traditionally weak month for new vehicle uptake, according to figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT). The industry recorded its lowest February uptake since 1959, with 51,312 new cars registered.
Despite the gloomy January figures, there are signs of optimism in the UK car industry. Sue Robinson, Chief Executive of the National Franchised Dealers Association (NFDA), which represents franchised car and commercial vehicle retailers in the UK, said that the steep fall in sales was expected as a result of the January lockdown, but she went on: “Retailers are optimistic about the year ahead, provided that dealerships will be allowed to reopen as soon as it is safe to do so.”
The UK new car market fell by 29.4 per cent in 2020, with annual registrations dropping to 1,631,064 units, according to figures published by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) today 6 January 2021. A -10.9 per cent decline in December topped off a turbulent year, which saw demand fall by 680,076 units to a near 30-year low (specifically, the lowest level of registrations since 1992).
The UK new car market declined -4.4 per cent in September, according to figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT). The sector recorded 328,041 new registrations in the month – the weakest September since the introduction of the dual number plate system in 1999 and some -15.8 per cent lower than the 10-year average of around 390,000 units for the month.