UK new car registrations rise in January, FY growth forecast cut

New car registrations rose 27.5% across the UK in January but the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders warned that registrations were also likely to grow at a slower than previously expected clip in 2022 as heightened living costs and ongoing supply problems weighed on sales.
The SMMT lowered its full-year guidance for new car registrations to 15%. While better than last year, the expected growth would still leave new car registrations almost 18% below 2019’s pre-pandemic level.

In October, the SMMT had predicted sales of 1.96m, citing lower the ongoing semiconductor shortage, increased costs of living and rising interest rates. In 2023, sales were projected to surpass 2.0m units for the first time since 2019, the SMMT added.

January new car registrations were around 23% lower than those seen in 2020, however, private registrations were up by 64% and the percentage of buyers purchasing an electric vehicle improved to 20%.

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