New car market up as plate change September marks one million EV milestone.
- 225,269 units registered in key ‘new plate’ month – up 4.6% on last September, but -34.4% behind 2019.
- Bumper month for plug-in registrations sees Britain’s millionth plug-in electric car registered, with 249,575 joining roads in 2022 alone.
- Industry calls for action to shore up consumer confidence as market enters final quarter.
The UK new car market recorded its second successive month of growth in September, with registrations rising 4.6%, according to the latest figures released today by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT). During what is typically the second biggest month of the year for the sector, 225,269 cars joined Britain’s roads. While this was a 9,957 unit increase on last year, when the industry recorded its weakest September since 1998, overall registrations for the month are still some -34.4% below pre-pandemic levels as the industry continues to battle issues constraining supply to fulfil a backlog of orders.
September plate change sees first growth for British van market in 2022.
- The UK’s light commercial vehicle (LCV) market rises 10.8% in September, marking the first month of growth in 2022.
- Delivery of medium and large vans drives uplift, while battery electric vehicle (BEV) uptake continues to rise, up 70.0%, representing 4.4% of the market.
- Long-term measures that shore up operator confidence amid wider economic uncertainty are crucial to accelerating uptake of the latest, greenest vans.
Britain’s light commercial vehicle (LCV) market grew by 10.8% to 34,950 units in September, one of the most popular months of the year for new van registrations due to the plate change. Despite strong order books throughout 2022, September is the first month of growth in registrations this year, as supply disruptions have restricted model availability. The performance is, however, artificially inflated in comparison with 2021, which saw the fewest registrations for the month since the 2009 recession, with this September still some -35.5% below the five-year pre-pandemic average.
The cost of living crisis is forcing families to sell their cars, according to October’s Startline Used Car Tracker.
Almost one in four (23%) say they already or are going to reduce the number of cars in their family while 61% say that tightening personal finances have changed their attitudes to car ownership for the worse.
Paul Burgess, CEO at Startline Motor Finance, said: “There’s probably more than one trend happening here. The first is that some two car families are switching to one in order to cut their outgoings, something for which we hear anecdotal evidence.
Jaguar Land Rover has seen retail and wholesale volumes rise during the second quarter of fiscal year 2023, but is still being impacted by a shortage of microchips which is hitting production.
Wholesale sales are the finished cars JLR sells as a business, while retails are vehicles customers buy from retailers.
The luxury car maker, which has production plants at Halewood in Merseyside and Solihull and Castle Bromwich in the West Midlands, issued figures for the three months to September 30, 2022.
Jaguar Land Rover saw its order book grow by around 5,000 vehicles in the three months to the end of September.
The luxury car maker’s orders stood at 205,000.
Demand for the New Range Rover, New Range Rover Sport and Defender remain strong, accounting for more than 145,000 of the orders.
BMW insists Oxford will “remain at the heart of Mini production” despite it moving the manufacture of some of its electric cars to China.
The first electric Mini was built at the city’s Cowley plant in 2020. All Minis will be electric by 2030.
BMW said its hatchback and small SUV electric Minis will start being built in China. Its electric Countryman model will be built in Leipzig, Germany.