Electrified vehicle demand surged across the UK in August but supply chain constraints still undermined the overall market.
New car registrations fall 22.0% to 68,033 in August, a traditionally quiet month leading up to September’s high-volume plate change period, according to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders.
August’s performance was the market’s worst since 2013 and was also 7.6% lower than the monthly average recorded over the last decade as constrained supply due to the global shortage of semiconductors continued to undermine production volumes.
However, demand for the latest battery-electric, hybrid and plug-in hybrid vehicles surged 32.2%, 45.7% and 72.1%, respectively, leading to demand for PHEVs outpacing BEVs in five of the last six months on the back of changes to the plug-in car grant.
Registrations by private, business and fleet buyers all fell double digits in the month, with fleet purchases down 27.5%, while private activity held up better, with registrations dropping 15.2% to 33,771 units.
For the year as a whole, UK new car registrations were up 20.3% year-on-year at 1.1m registrations, an increase of 185,687 units. However, total registrations in 2021 were 25.3% below the 10 year average for the period January-August.
SMMT chief executive Mike Hawes said: “While August is normally one of the quietest months for UK new car registrations these figures are still disappointing, albeit not wholly surprising. The global shortage of semiconductors has affected UK, and indeed global, car production volumes so new car registrations will inevitably be undermined.
“As we enter the important September plate-change month with an ever-increasing range of electrified models and attractive deals, buyers in the market for the new 71 plate can be reassured manufacturers are doing all they can to ensure prompt deliveries.”