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New car market remains below pre-pandemic levels, but EVs and private demand show positive signs

NFDA 07/12/2021

“As expected, despite the marginal increase on last year, the November new car market is below pre-pandemic levels as supply issues constrain new car registrations; however the strong increase in sales to private buyers shows consumers are confident”, 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, new passenger car registrations were up 1.7% on the same month last year, but remained -31.3% below the pre-pandemic market as supply side issues continue to affect sales.

Demand from private buyers rose 41.7% from November 2020, while fleet registrations declined -24.7%.

Battery Electric Vehicles (BEVs) accounted for 18.8% (21,726 units) of all new vehicles registered and Plug-In Hybrid Vehicles (PHEVs), 9.3% (10,796 units): a combined 28.1% market share of all new car registrations in November.

Compared to November last year, BEVs grew 110.0%, PHEVs 39.7%, whilst petrol was down -10.4% and diesel -62.7%.

Sue Robinson added: “It is encouraging to see that the market share of plug-in vehicles continues to grow. Motorists’ appetite for EVs is rising and retailers’ investments, expertise and enthusiasm continue to facilitate the transition to zero emissions.

“Demand from consumers remains robust, franchised dealers have been enhancing their digital presence in order to serve their customers with equal success and efficiency via their physical premises as well as their online offering.

“Although product shortages and subsequent delays are now well documented, retailers are communicating regularly and informatively with their customers to manage expectations around car purchases and deliveries.

“We will now await next month’s figures to obtain a clearer picture of what’s been a turbulent year in which retailers are once again proving their resilience”.

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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.