The buoyancy of the British van market post-lockdown is demonstrated by the swift rise in new van registrations in 2021. While certain goods and service industries have supported business continuity for van fleets during the pandemic – such as home delivery and mobile vehicle servicing – the rise in new van purchases demonstrates both confidence in the market and demand for newer, more efficient van technologies. This is good news for UK van tyre suppliers, with original equipment sales supported well in the short-term, and continuity of demand for the latest tyre models to suit new van technologies in the replacement stream, notably including electric vans.
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.
The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) has launched a new plan to secure the future of Britain’s automotive manufacturing sector. The ‘Full Throttle: Driving UK Automotive Competitiveness’ strategy, commissioned by SMMT and written by Public First, sets out a “series of bold policy proposals” for this coming year and remainder of the decade, covering “all aspects essential to automotive industry competitiveness.”
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.
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.
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.
With car showrooms opening today (12 April), The UK automotive retail sector signalled its readiness to get showrooms up and running with the publication of new, updated sector-specific guidance by the National Franchised Dealers Association (NFDA) and Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) to ensure all premises are safe spaces for employees, customers and other visitors.
SMMT figures show that the new light commercial vehicle market grew by 85.5 per cent in March with 56,122 vans joining UK roads with the ’21 new number plate. Usually one of the busiest months of the year, March saw the largest-ever increase since the switch to the two plate system in 1999, but one which still represented an -10.9 per cent decrease when compared to the pre-pandemic 2015-2019 average, as prolonged nationwide lockdown continued to suppress business confidence in the first quarter of the year.
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.
UK commercial vehicle (CV) production declined -45.4 per cent in February, with 4,308 units built, according to the latest figures released by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT). CV manufacturing entered its fifth consecutive month of decline as supply chain shortages, new customs processes and prolonged lockdown measures across the globe affected output, resulting in the worst February on record.
The UK new light commercial vehicle market grew by 22.0 per cent in the second month of the year, according to the latest figures released by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT). Usually one of the year’s weaker months as many operators wait for the new March number plate, 2021 saw the strongest February since 1998, with 17,205 new models hitting UK roads as demand from the construction sector and online deliveries drove new vehicle uptake.
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.
According to figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), UK car production fell 27.3 per cent year-on-year in January to 86,052 units. This is the worst January performance since 2009, when UK factories made just 61,404 cars, and the drop of 32,262 units represents the 17th consecutive month of decline. The SMMT attributes January’s weak output to multiple factors, including the ongoing effects of the pandemic, global supply chain issues, extended shutdowns and friction in the new trading arrangements following the end of the Brexit transition period.