London – UK’s new car registrations fell by 29.5% year-on-year to 123,296 units in the month of July, according to the latest figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).
The decline was artificially heightened by comparison with the same month last year, when registrations rose dramatically as showrooms return to operation following the first 2020 lockdown, said SMMT in a 5 Aug report.
Compared to the 10-year average, however, the performance was down 22.3%, as the ongoing semiconductor shortage and the ‘pingdemic’ impacted on both supply and demand.
Pingdemic is a term used to refere to the notifications on Covid-19 sent by the health system NHS to your phone, advising you to self-isolate.
“As a result, this was the weakest July for new car registrations since 1998, prior to the introduction of the two-plate system,” SMMT said.
While the UK’s economic outlook continues to strengthen, SMMT said supply challenges “continue to throttle growth” with the weaker market conditions expected to continue in August – traditionally a quiet month for registrations – before modest growth returns in the final quarter of the year.
As a result, the latest SMMT outlook has been revised downward and now forecasts registrations to reach around 1.82 million units in 2021.
While 11.7% higher on 2020, the guidance is below the 1.86 million forecast in April, and down around 22% on the average new car market recorded over the past decade.