UK new car registrations fall as supply woes continue
Industry outlook revised downwards, now anticipating a fall of 3% in 2022
London – UK new car registrations fell by 9.0% year-on-year to reach 112,162 units in July, according to the latest figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).
The result marks the fifth month of consecutive decline, although the fall is the smallest recorded this year, said the SMMT report 4 Aug.
Ongoing global supply chain issues, predominantly the lack of semiconductors, continued to frustrate order fulfilment, exacerbated by Covid lockdowns in key manufacturing and logistics centres in China.
In addition, disruption from the war in Ukraine restricted production output and therefore supply into the UK new car market, said the association.
Declines were driven primarily by a 18.2% fall in registrations by large fleets, to 50,014 units, while consumer registrations remained steady at 59,847 units.
Year-to-date, new car registrations declined 11.5% to 914,241 units, reflecting “enduring severity and impact of the semiconductor shortage and global conflict,” SMMT noted.
“While the sector expects the second half to improve as supply issues start to recede, it is unlikely that the market will be able to recover the significant losses sustained so far,” it added.
As a result, the association has revised down its forecast for the full year to a fall of 2.8% year-on-year, to 1.6 million units, down from the April forecast of 1.7 million cars.
“Around two million registrations have been lost since Covid, effectively representing a loss of a year’s registrations,” it added.
For 2023, the association has lowered the outlook from 2.0 million units in April to 1.89 million new car registrations.