Market decline

Sharp drop in fleet sales drives down new car market


04 November 2021

| Author: Sean keywood

The UK new car market fell for the fourth consecutive month in October, mainly due to the drop in fleet sales.

The latest figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) show that fleet registrations are down 40.4% from October 2020, while company registrations, classified as companies with less than 25 vehicles , fell 45.5%.

In contrast, private listings only fell by 3.3% (although they were heavily affected by the Covid-19 pandemic in October 2020), meaning the overall market saw a drop of 24 , 6%, which was at least an improvement from 34.4% for the year. One-year decline observed in September, when private registrations fell 25.3% and the declines in fleet and activity were quite similar.

However, last month’s numbers were still the worst seen in October since 1991.

The SMMT attributed the overall decline in sales to the lingering semiconductor supply crisis hitting new car production, as well as a deteriorating outlook for the wider economy.

For these reasons, it has now lowered its annual sales forecast for the year by 8.8 percent to 1.66 million cars, which would be 30,000 more than in 2020, but 650,000 less than in 2020. 2019.

However, the SMMT foresees a partial recovery, to 1.96 million registrations, in 2022.

October was marked by continued strong demand for battery-electric vehicles, which saw registrations increase 73.1% year-over-year to take a 15.2% share of the overall market. .

Plug-in hybrid sales are also up 7.5% for a market share of 7.9%.

All other fuel types saw declines, with diesel car registrations down 66.4% for just 6.6% market share, light hybrid diesels down 26.5% (4.2 % of market share), gasolines down 30% (45.5% market share), hybrid gasolines down 17.8% (12.4% market share) and conventional hybrids in 21.5% drop (8.1% market share).

Commenting on October’s overall numbers, SMMT Managing Director Mike Hawes said: “Current performance reflects tough supply constraints as the industry battles semiconductor shortages and further economic headwinds. stronger as inflation rises, taxes rise and consumer confidence weakens.

“Electrified vehicles, however, continue to turn the tide, with nearly one in six new cars registered this year capable of zero emissions, growth which is fundamental to the UK’s ability to meet its net zero targets. .

“With the next year shaping up to be brighter and with even more new models expected, continuing this transition will depend on preserving the incentives that overcome the barrier of affordability and the ability of the public and private sectors to scale up the burden. public on the street to appease electric vehicles. concerns of drivers. “