June sees weakest new car market for the month since 1996

Ongoing challenges in component supply hamper industry’s ability to fulfil demand, SMMT reports

June sees weakest new car market for the month since 1996

UK new car registrations fell 24.3 per cent in June, according to the latest figures released today by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).

The month saw 140,958 new vehicles registered, the weakest June performance since 1996.

Battery electric vehicles (BEVs) continued their growth streak, however, with a 14.6 per cent increase in volume, as market share continued to grow, reaching 16.1 per cent, up from 10.7 per cent a year before.

Conversely, plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) uptake fell by 4,425 units to take a 5.5 per cent market share.

In total, plug-in vehicles comprised more than a fifth (21.6 per cent) of new cars joining the road in the month.

All other powertrains saw declines in registration volumes and market share apart from hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs), which, despite a 1,172 unit fall, increased their market share to 10.6 per cent.

Related: Electric cars make up 70 per cent of June’s top 10 fastest selling used cars, data shows

Declines were most significant in large fleets, which recorded a 27.6 per cent fall in registrations, while private consumer volumes dropped by a more modest 21.7 per cent.

As a result, the fleet and business share of the market reduced to 50.7% as manufacturers prioritised private consumers in the supply-constrained environment.

Given the ongoing shortages of essential components, exacerbated by pandemic restrictions in China, global vehicle production has struggled to keep up with demand throughout 2022.

New car registrations for the year to date have fallen by -11.9 per cent to 802,079 units – the weakest first half year performance since 1992, bar 2020.

Some 107,894 fewer new cars have been registered during the first half of 2022 compared with the same period last year – despite 2021 demand being restricted by dealership lockdowns until April, with consumers only able to buy vehicles through click and collect.

Related: Record-breaking rise in number of vehicle technicians training for EVs, IMI data shows

More positively, electric vehicle market share continues to grow.

Plug-ins account for a record one in five new car registrations year to date, demonstrating manufacturers’ commitments to deliver the latest zero emission capable vehicles.

The pace of this growth, however, is decelerating, with registrations up by 26 per cent in the first half of 2022, compared with growth of 161.3 per cent during the first half of 2021.

Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive, said: “The semiconductor shortage is stifling the new car market even more than last year’s lockdown.

“Electric vehicle demand continues to be the one bright spot, as more electric cars than ever take to the road, but while this growth is welcome it is not yet enough to offset weak overall volumes, which has huge implications for fleet renewal and our ability to meet overall carbon reduction targets.

“With motorists facing rising fuel costs, however, the switch to an electric car makes ever more sense and the industry is working hard to improve supply and prioritise deliveries of these new technologies given the savings they can afford drivers.”

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