The UK’s new car registrations rose 1.2 percent in August from a year earlier, snapping five-straight months of declines, largely boosted by growth in battery electric vehicles (BEVs), according to industry data released on Monday.
The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) said registrations in August, which is considered the second quietest month of the year, were up at 68,858 units from 68,033 units a year earlier, as many buyers choose to wait for a ‘new’ numberplate in September.
“Spiralling energy costs and inflation on top of sustained supply chain challenges are piling even more pressure on the automotive industry’s post-pandemic recovery, and we urgently need the new Prime Minister to tackle these challenges and restore confidence and sustainable growth,” SMMT Chief Executive Officer Mike Hawes said.
The auto market has been spiraling with the cost-of-living squeeze in Britain and the impact of persisting chip shortages across the globe.
“With September traditionally a bumper time for new car uptake, next month will be the true barometer of industry recovery,” Hawes added.
The year-to-date registrations which came in at 983,099 units were, however, down nearly a third from pre-pandemic 2019 and 10.7 percent lower from 2021.
Sales in BEVs showed a 35.4 percent increase in volumes and a 14.5 percent market share. However, SMMT warned that the growth in the segment is slowing, with a year-to-date increase of 48.8 percent, whereas at the end of the first quarter, BEV registrations had jumped 101.9 percent.
British new car registrations fell 24 percent in June, marking the weakest June in 26 years, as the sector struggled with a persistent supply shortage of components and China’s COVID-19 restrictions. New car registrations in Britain fell to 140,958 units, according to final figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).