Following the SMMT’s June round of car registrations figures, analyst Deloitte wonders if there is cause to think a UK automotive landmark has passed. While much of the focus has been on the historic depths the country’s car sales have hit, the proportional demand for hybrid and electric vehicles has continued to rise at pace. Michael Woodward, UK automotive lead, Deloitte, said: “The automotive industry is taking positive steps towards recovery from the impact of COVID-19. Socially-distanced showrooms have been reopened in England for a full month, and factory production is ramping up again, in some cases faster than expected.
Analysts have commented on the “unsurprising” news that UK new car sales have plummeted to depths not seen for 70 years in April. Automotive industry observers at Deloitte and KPMG looked to the future, suggesting cautiously that the reopening of showrooms could provide opportunities for consumers, while suggesting that sales digitisation could be important for dealers.
Although UK monthly new car registrations in April were lower than since the days of postwar petrol rationing, there is at least some optimism that the automotive industry will benefit from one aspect of the COVID-19 crisis. With social distancing and fear of contagion part of the ‘new normal’, mistrustful commuters may shun public transport in favour of private cars.
UK new car registrations declined -6.7 per cent last month, according to figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT). 10,348 fewer cars were registered than in October last year, reflecting a tough environment for businesses and consumers as economic and political uncertainty continued to impact confidence.
Commenting on yesterday’s new car registration figures – which showed registrations of battery electric vehicles (BEVs) increasing 158 per cent year-on-year in July despite the wider downward trend – Deloitte opines that a ‘tipping point’ between combustion and electric vehicles will occur in the UK by 2021.