“As we approach the end of the year, the latest figures for November are testament to what has proven to be a year of growth for the sector,” said Sue Robinson, Chief Executive of the National Franchised Dealers Association (NFDA), which represents franchised car and commercial vehicle retailers in the UK commenting on the latest SMMT’s new passenger car registration figures.
In November, a total of 156,525 new cars were registered, an increase of 9.5% from the same period last year. Sales to private buyers fell by -5.9%; fleet registrations were up by 25.4%.
Battery electric vehicles (BEVs) experienced a decrease, down 17.1% to 24,359 units. Plug-in hybrid (PHEVs) registrations increased by 55.8% to 15,871 units, and hybrids (HEVs) followed with growth of 27.8% to 20,525 units. There are now 286,846 registered BEVs on the road in 2023 compared to the 224,919 at the same point last year, a 27.5% increase.
With sales of electric growing, diesel fell from 5,605 units to 4,663 (-16.8%), but petrol has risen from 57,590 units to 61,875 units (7.4%).
Sue Robinson added: “At the Autumn Statement there was no mention of EV price incentives or any further clarity on EV charging infrastructure from the Chancellor. In a recent survey to members 50% of respondents identified that an introduction of private EV incentives would be most beneficial to them. NFDA urges Government to listen to the needs of consumers, and the sector, if we want private EV buyers to match fleet adoption.
“The fall in private electric vehicle sales for November is unsurprising with the upcoming ZEV mandate implementation set for January, although NFDA would argue that this is not a true reflection of the market and consumer demand for EVs remains strong. Manufacturers have crucial sales targets to reach from January 2024 and will be strategically planning for the mandate to come into effect; As the customer facing side to the industry, Electric Vehicle Approved (EVA) dealers will continue to support consumers on their transition to electric through expert levels of knowledge and high levels of service.”
About the RMI
The Retail Motor Industry represents the interests of operators in England, Wales, Northern Ireland and the Isle of Man providing sales and services to motorists and businesses. The RMI has a formal association with the independent Scottish Motor Trade Association which represents the retail motor industry in Scotland.