New car sales drop due to ongoing supply constraints

Published:  05 May, 2022

New car sales were down 15.8% in April according to the latest figures from the SMMT, with the ongoing semiconductor shortage constraining deliveries and a 33.3% drop in large fleet registrations being cited as the main cause.

While just 119,167 new cars were sold during the month, 12,889 of these were battery electric vehicles (BEVs), 40.9% up on April 2021 They took 10.8% of the market up from 6.5% last year. Meanwhile, hybrid (HEV) went by 18.3%, but plug-in hybrid (PHEV) sales dropped by 32.8%. Overall, electrified vehicles made up 27.9% of all car registrations during April.
Looking ahead, plug-in cars are expected to make up over 25% of the overall market for 2022, but additional assurance needed for more customers to make the switch. However, the SMMT has reduced its 2022 outlook from 1.89m units to 1.72m as parts shortages continue to impact supply.

Commenting on the figures, SMMT Chief Executive Mike Hawes said, “The worldwide semiconductor shortage continues to drag down the market, with global geopolitical issues threatening to undermine both supply and demand in the coming months. Manufacturers are doing everything they can to deliver the latest low and zero emission vehicles, and those considering purchase should look to place their orders now to benefit from incentives, low interest rates and reduced running costs. Accelerating the transformation of the new car market and the carbon savings demanded of road transport in such difficult times requires not just the resolution of supply issues, however, but a broader package of measures that encourages customer demand and addresses obstacles, the biggest of which remains charging anxiety.”

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