The SMMT is reporting that new car registrations fell -34.4% in September compared to Covid-hit 2020, down to 215,312 units, the weakest September since 1998, before the twice-a-year number plate system was introduced.
Of course, there have been serious supply issues caused by semiconductor shortages, and these continue to plague industry. It seems that EVs are the only shining light in a gloomy landscape, as they continued their rise in popularity with 32,721 new EVs took to the road – the best monthly performance ever.
SMMT CEP Mike Hawes said: “This is a desperately disappointing September and further evidence of the ongoing impact of the Covid pandemic on the sector. Despite strong demand for new vehicles over the summer, three successive months have been hit by stalled supply due to reduced semiconductor availability, especially from Asia. Nevertheless, manufacturers are taking every measure possible to maintain deliveries and customers can expect attractive offers on a range of new vehicles.
“Despite these challenges, the rocketing uptake of plug-in vehicles, especially battery electric cars, demonstrates the increasing demand for these new technologies. However, to meet our collective decarbonisation ambitions, we need to ensure all drivers can make the switch – not just those with private driveways – requiring a massive investment in public recharging infrastructure. Chargepoint roll-out must keep pace with the acceleration in plug-in vehicle registrations.“