SMMT: ‘New car market recovery squeezed by supply issues’


The SMMT is warning that recovery in the new car market is being hampered by the continuing shortage of semiconductors available to new vehicle builders.  As a result, total registrations for Q2 2021 fell short of industry expectations by around 9,000 units and, compared with the previous decade average, monthly registrations were down -16.4%.

Despite this, the SMMT reports that new car registrations in June grew 28.0% year-on-year to 186,128, according to latest figures.

So we’re still in a ‘one step forward, one step back’ scenario within the industry, though the SMMT also comments that all vehicle sizes – bar executive and multi-purpose – saw growth in June, with minis leading the way, recovering from a relatively weak few months previously.

As ever, the ‘finger on the button’ comments from SMMT Chief Exec Mike Hawes sums it up nicely:

“With the final phases of the UK’s vaccine rollout well underway and confidence increasing, the automotive sector is now battling against a ‘long Covid’ of vehicle supply challenges. The semiconductor shortages arising from Covid-constrained output globally are affecting vehicle production, disrupting supply on certain models and restricting the automotive recovery. However, rebuilding for the next decade is now well underway with investment in local battery production beginning and a raft of new electrified models in showrooms. With the end of domestic restrictions later this month looking more likely, business and consumer optimism should improve further, fuelling increased spending, especially as the industry looks towards September and advanced orders for the next plate change.”