The UK’s used car market fell for the second consecutive quarter this year, with the SMMT reporting a 12.2% decline over the three months of July to September. Some 1,785,447 vehicles changed hands, the first time that quarter three transactions have dipped below two million since 2015, as semiconductor shortages impacted supply of stock. Year to date sales are now down 9.7% to 5,319,482.
Car production in the UK rose for the third consecutive month in July, with figures published by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) showing 8.6 per cent year-on-year growth to 58,043 units. But before the local industry pats itself on the back, the SMMT cautions that this performance must be set in context as it compares with July 2021, which thanks to the semiconductor shortage was the worst July since 1956.
After an April to June period punctuated by negative EBIT and a net loss, tyre maker and automotive components supplier Continental says it is “looking ahead to the second half of the year with optimism.” It is also maintaining its full-year outlook despite a current headwind that chief financial officer Katja Dürrfeld describes as being “rather like a hurricane.”
UK new car registrations fell 24.3 per cent year-on-year in June. According to figures released by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), 140,958 new vehicles were registered during the month, the weakest June performance since 1996.
UK car production in grew in May 2022 for the first time since June 2021. The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) report that a total of 62,284 units left factory gates during the month, a rise of 13.3 per cent. SMMT notes, however, that the increase must be viewed in context against May 2021, which was still suffering significantly from pandemic-related headwinds. Output remains 46.3 per cent below the pre-pandemic month in 2019, with ongoing supply chain issues, increasing economic uncertainty, rising business costs and disruption caused by the war in Ukraine.
Announcing its financial results for the first quarter of 2022, tyre maker and automotive technology firm Continental states that it “performed well” during the period despite “an increasingly turbulent market environment.” It describes its Q1 2022 tyre business as “strong.”
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.
UK car production fell 41.3 per cent in February, with the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) reporting the manufacture of 61,657 units during the month, 43,351 fewer cars than were made than in February 2021. This reduced output was primarily due to the persistent global shortage of semiconductors causing some factories to pause production, as well as the loss of output following the closure of a major plant in Swindon last summer.
Although chief executive officer Nikolai Setzer believes the past financial year was “a very trying one” for Continental and a period presenting “many challenges,” the tyre maker and automotive solutions company nonetheless managed to achieve a positive net income in 2021 after two consecutive years of losses.
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.
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.
Anniversary year ups and downs: As it marks one and a half centuries in the business, Continental reports that it has “set the strategic course for the next successful chapter in its history by making its previously announced structural adjustments” during Q3 2021. But the delivery situation for electronic components also worsened during the quarter, and Continental says this “had a significant impact on sales and earnings” that could only be partially offset by sales volumes within its aftermarket tyre and industrial product businesses.
Consolidated sales and operating profit may have been down year-on-year during the three months to 30 September 2021, but Hankook Tire was nonetheless pleased to experience “qualitative growth” during the quarter.