Automotive News – Early September 2021

UK new car registrations fell -22.0% in August, according to the latest figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT). 68,033 units were registered in what is traditionally one of the quietest months of the year for new car registrations ahead of the important plate-change in September.

The monthly performance was the weakest since August 2013, and down -7.6% against the average recorded over the last decade, due in part to constrained supply as the global shortage of semiconductors, an issue born of the pandemic, continues to undermine production volumes.

Demand for the latest battery electric (BEV), hybrid (HEV) and plug-in hybrid (PHEV) vehicles, however, surged, up 32.2%, 45.7% and 72.1% respectively. In fact, demand for PHEVs has outpaced BEVs in five of the last six months since changes to the Plug-in Car Grant, affecting BEVs, were introduced in March.2 There are now some 130 plug-in models on the market, with the range ever-increasing

The new light commercial vehicle (LCV) market saw its second best August on record with 20,582 registrations, according to the latest figures released today by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).1 Compared to the pre-pandemic five year average, the industry recorded a 21.1% increase in new registrations during what is typically the market’s second quietest month of the year.

The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) has called on the UK government to work with the industry on a realistic plan to facilitate the transition to zero-emissions heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) before announcing a deadline to ban new ICE vehicles.

According to the SMMT, support from the government is needed to provide a charging and refuelling infrastructure that can handle commercial vehicle demands. The SMMT is also calling on the government to help train (or retrain) technicians to maintain zero-emissions vehicles.

The government is looking to propose a 2040 deadline for the end of sale for ICE commercial vehicles.

European HGV manufacturers have agreed to produce fossil fuel-free vehicles by 2040, but these vehicles need a public network of charging and refuelling points to support the switch to zero-emissions propulsion.

Car industry bosses have called on the government to extend some of the financial support measures introduced during the coronavirus pandemic to protect jobs that are at risk due to the ongoing production crisis caused by the shortage of semiconductors.

The limited supply of chips, exacerbated by increasing demand for consumer electronics during lockdowns, has impacted car production globally, prompting some firms to halt manufacturing and even develop versions of cars containing fewer semiconductors.

Speaking during an Autocar Business webinar on the crisis, Mike Hawes, the head of the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), warned that the car industry has “not yet met the middle of the crisis”, predicting that the turbulence will continue throughout 2022.


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