Automotive News – Late September 2021

As we enter the important September plate-change month with an ever-increasing range of electrified models and attractive deals, buyers in the market for the new 71 plate can be reassured manufacturers are doing all they can to ensure prompt deliveries.

MINI has delivered its one millionth car sold in the UK, just over 20 years since the start of modern MINI production began in 2001.

MINI has sold over 5.1 million cars globally in the past two decades, and the UK is the brand’s largest market.

The latest milestone comes a few months after BMW Group’s UK manufacturing plants in Oxford and Swindon celebrated 20 years of MINI production. The plants employ over 4,500 people, including 130 apprentices, and currently build 1,000 MINIs a day – one every 67 seconds.

Record year for carbon reduction despite COVID stalling economic progress

  • 22nd Sustainability Report reveals impact of pandemic on automotive sector sustainable development with declines in vehicle production, registrations and economic performance
  • Fleet average carbon emissions reduced by a record-breaking 11.8% in a single year
  • Industry remains firmly focused on reducing emissions from both production-related activities and vehicles in use
  • Sector calls for supportive framework to transition market to sustainable, net zero future

The past two decades have seen the UK automotive sector maintain its position as one of the country’s most important economic assets. Turnover is up 25.7% since 1999, to £60.2 billion last year, with a more than three-fold increase in R&D spending over the same period. However, the past year has seen the industry hit hard by the pandemic with automotive sector turnover down by -24.6%.

Automotive brands are investing billions into the development and production of new zero-emission models. In 2020 electric vehicles accounted for more than one in 10 registrations, with a 90% increase in the number of plug-in hybrid vehicles (PHEVs) alone. Today there are some 130 plug-in car models from which UK drivers can choose, with an increasing number of these made in Britain.

Van registrations swell for summer but semi-conductor shortage concerns loom

  • Industry records second best ever August with 20,582 new van registrations during typically one of the quietest month in the year.
  • New van uptake up 2.6% year to date on pre-pandemic average.
  • Semi-conductor shortages in manufacturing still threaten production and market.

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.

Electrified vehicle demand surges in small volume August but supply issues undermine overall market

  • August new car registrations fall -22.0% in traditionally quiet month pre-plate change.
  • Demand for battery electric, plug-in hybrid and hybrid cars surges with PHEVs rising most, up 72.1%.
  • Market year-to-date up 20.3% against Covid hit 2020, but below pre-pandemic levels as sector still battles Covid-related chip shortages.

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 ongoing global semiconductor shortage contributed to another sharp decline in UK car production, with August down 27% year on year.

The so-called chip crisis has, along with a number of extended summer factory shutdowns, wreaked havoc on the global car industry, with a lack of crucial electrical components prompting production line stoppages at many mainstream manufacturers.

The shortage is hampering the ability of firms to ramp back up to normal production levels following the height of the pandemic.

Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders boss Mike Hawes described the most recent decline as “extremely worrying both for the sector and its many thousands of workers nationwide”.

Delivery giant Hermes UK has placed an order for 168 fully electric vans from Mercedes-Benz and will integrate them into its fleet by the end of the year.

The new vans are Mercedes-Benz’s eSprinter model and mark the first large-scale purchase of pure electric vans for Hermes UK, following trials of two eSprinters at Hermes UK’s depot in Enfield, North London. The trials were run in partnership with supplier Intercounty Truck & Van, through which Hermes UK is also completing the new purchase.

Crucially, the eSprinters have an identical load volume to the front-wheel-drive version of the diesel Sprinter already used by Hermes UK.,%20AdestraCampaign&utm_medium=email,%20Email&utm_content=news&utm_campaign=dailynewsletter,

The revived Mini MOKE recreational vehicle will be built entirely in the UK following a new agreement with manufacturing firm Fablink.

Popularised by the likes of The Beatles, The Beach Boys and Brigitte Bardot, the MOKE was a sixties icon. The original Mini-based beach buggies were made at British Motor Corporation’s (BMC) Longbridge plant in Birmingham between 1964 and 1968 before production moved abroad and then finally ended in 1993.

Having acquired the MOKE trademark and global distribution rights in 2017, MOKE International began reviving the small soft-top. Since its relaunch in 2020, the MOKE has been engineered in Britain but manufactured in France. Now, that’s about to change.  Going forward, all MOKEs will be built at a state-of-the-art facility operated by Northamptonshire-based UK automotive manufacturing company Fablink Group.

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