Gross sales of latest vehicles within the UK fell by virtually 1 / 4 final month, the worst June since 1996, as world chip shortages hammered the trade.
International shortages of parts similar to semiconductors, exacerbated by Covid restrictions in China, proceed to hamper producers’ capability to maintain up with demand, the Society of Motor Producers and Merchants (SMMT) mentioned. Drivers are ready greater than 12 months to take supply of some fashions.
The SMMT reported that 140,958 new vehicles had been registered final month, 24.3% fewer than in June 2021. Giant company fleets recorded a 27.6% drop in gross sales, whereas personal shopper volumes dropped by 21.%. To date this 12 months, 802,079 new vehicles have been registered, down virtually 12% from this time final 12 months – the second-weakest first-half efficiency in 30 years.
Battery-powered electrical autos continued to be well-liked, with gross sales up 14.6% to 22,737 in June, lifting their market share to 16.1% from 10.7% a 12 months earlier. Nevertheless, plug-in hybrid electrical automotive gross sales fell by 36.5% from final June to 7,714 and their market share slipped to five.5% from 6.5%. Hybrid electrical automobile gross sales fell 7.3% to 14,978 however managed to raise their market share to 10.6%.
Mike Hawes, the SMMT chief government, mentioned: “The semiconductor scarcity is stifling the brand new automotive market much more than final 12 months’s lockdown. Electrical automobile demand continues to be the one vivid spot, as extra electrical vehicles than ever take to the street, however whereas this development is welcome, it’s not but sufficient to offset weak total volumes, which has large implications for fleet renewal and our capability to satisfy total carbon discount targets.
“With motorists dealing with rising gasoline prices, nonetheless, the swap to an electrical automotive makes ever extra sense and the trade is working onerous to enhance provide and prioritise deliveries of those new applied sciences given the financial savings they will afford drivers.”
The federal government lately scrapped the plug-in automotive grant, which implies the UK is the one large European market with out buy incentives for personal EV patrons, the commerce group mentioned.
Alan Banks, the chief government of the trade group TechWorks, informed MPs on the enterprise, power and industrial technique choose sommittee that the worldwide semiconductor scarcity was more likely to proceed by means of 2023.
He mentioned carmakers had been hit tougher than different enterprise sectors as a result of the semiconductors utilized in vehicles had been extra specialised, as they wanted to have the ability to endure excessive temperatures.
Jim Holder, the editorial director of the journal and web site What Automobile?, mentioned automotive patrons had been affected by a variety of issues. New automotive orders had been delayed, whereas rising power payments had been pushing up manufacturing prices, which was growing costs for shoppers. “The result’s longer ready occasions on vehicles which is able to value extra to purchase,” he mentioned.
In an indication that the scenario could also be bettering, UK automotive manufacturing in Could grew for the primary time since June 2021, up 13.3%, with 62,284 items leaving manufacturing unit gates, separate SMMT figures confirmed final week.
Ben Nelmes, co-founder of the inexperienced motoring consultancy New AutoMotive, mentioned rising petrol and diesel costs had been driving shoppers in direction of electrical vehicles however the provide of autos couldn’t hold tempo with demand.
“We hear that supply occasions for electrical vehicles are actually between 40 weeks and a 12 months,” he added. “The provision of electrical autos is the largest barrier to cleaner street transport within the UK.”
The federal government is planning to undertake a zero emission automobile mandate, which would require producers to promote a sure proportion of these vehicles and vans from 2024. Nelmes urged ministers to make sure the extent is stronger than the proposed 22%.
The federal government has pledged to achieve web zero for carbon emissions by 2050. To assist obtain this, gross sales of latest petrol and diesel vehicles and vans can be banned from 2030.