Automotive News – Early April 2021

Jaguar Land Rover sold 123,483 vehicles in its fourth quarter, 12.4% more than the same time last year, although total sales for the year were 13.6% lower.

The luxury car maker, which has manufacturing sites in Halewood, Merseyside, and Castle Bromwich and Solihull in the West Midlands, revealed its China sales were up 127% compared with a year ago when that market was heavily impacted by COVID-19.

Sales in North America were also up year-on-year by 10.4%, while other regions remain lower than pre-COVID levels, including overseas markets (-10%), the UK (-6.8%) and Europe (-4.9%).

The award-winning new Land Rover Defender contributed significantly to the overall year-over-year growth, with 16,963 units sold in the quarter.

The new light commercial vehicle market grew by 85.5% in March with 56,122 vans joining UK roads with the ’21 new number plate, according to the latest figures released today by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT). Usually one of the busiest months of the year, March saw the largest ever increase since the switch to the two plate system in 1999, but one which still represented an -10.9% decrease when compared to the pre-pandemic 2015-2019 average, as prolonged nationwide lockdown continued to suppress business confidence in the first quarter of the year

Berlin’s iconic yellow double deck buses are to be manufactured in Scarborough for the first time.

Alexander Dennis Limited (ADL) announced that Berliner Verkehrsbetriebe, the German capital’s public transport company, had exercised options for 198 of their Enviro500 double deck buses.

All 198 buses will be manufactured at ADL’s UK facilities, with final assembly taking place at the Scarborough plant, before being delivered to Berlin by the end of 2022.

The first two Enviro500 double deckers were delivered to BVG in October 2020 as part of a multi-year framework contract signed in 2018.

Electric vehicle registrations in the United Kingdom have exploded, increasing over 88% in March 2021 compared to the same month in 2020. While battery-electric vehicle (BEV) sales surged, petrol and diesel engine sales collapsed by 10 and 31.4%, respectively, proving car buyers in the UK are becoming more attracted to sustainable powertrains compared to the gas-powered vehicles that have dominated the automotive industry for over 100 years.

So far this year, BEV sales have topped out at 31,779 vehicles in the UK through the first quarter of 2021, a 74.1% increase compared to last year’s figure of 18,256 cars in the same period. BEVs have increased their market share to 7.5% of all automotive sales so far this year, up from just 3.8% last year.

Demand for new cars grew by 11.5% last month compared with March 2020, new figures show.  Some 283,964 new cars were registered in the UK last month despite showrooms remaining shut due to coronavirus restrictions, the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders said.

The year-on-year increase was still 36.9% down on the average March total between 2010 and 2019.

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