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New automotive gross sales up 18% however there’s a ‘worrying drop in retail demand’

  • Some 287,825 new vehicles have been registered in March – of which 46,626 have been electrical vehicles
  • This was a report month for EV gross sales, with the Tesla Mannequin Y the most-bought new car
  • Auto Dealer says the rise in registrations was pushed by fleets, not customers

The UK new automotive market grayed out for the eighth consecutive month in March – and electrical autos noticed a report month of demand, in response to the most recent business figures printed this morning.

The Society of Motor Producers and Merchants (SMMT) confirmed that registrations grew year-on-year by 18.2 %.

The figures confirmed that shipments of battery electrical autos (BEV) reached a month-to-month report of 46,626, representing a progress of 18.6 %.

It was one of the best “new registration plate month” efficiency since earlier than the pandemic — March and September have historically been the busiest occasions for auto sellers because of the arrival of the most recent license plate numbers — however business insiders warn of “optimistic title numbers” masking an alarming drop in public demand.

Automobile registrations grew for the eighth consecutive month in March, however business insiders warn that gross sales figures masks a “worrying drop in retail demand.”
SMMT confirmed that this was one of the best “new plate month” efficiency since earlier than the pandemic – with March and September historically being the busiest occasions for auto sellers.

A complete of 287,825 new autos hit our roads final month – up from 243,479 in March 2022.

SMMT CEO Mike Howes mentioned: “The brand new March often units the tone for the yr, so this efficiency will give the business and customers much more confidence.

“With eight consecutive months of progress, the auto business is recovering, bucking broader developments and supporting financial progress.”

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A complete of 287,825 new autos hit our roads final month – up from 243,479 in March 2022 – because the arrival of the brand new ’23’ plate appeared to spice up demand.
Auto Dealer says the info exhibits that bigger fleets drove the rise in registrations quite than non-public consumers, suggesting the cost-of-living disaster is curbing customers’ urge for food for brand new vehicles.

Nonetheless, the info reveals that giant fleets, which embrace autos owned by giant enterprises corresponding to authorities businesses and rental firms, have been the principle driving power for elevated consumption of recent autos in March, with registrations on this section up almost 41 %.

In distinction, “non-public” consumers, who signify the driving public, purchased simply 1.4 % extra new vehicles than they did 12 months in the past.

The highest line figures from the SMMT report overshadow a transparent signal of declining urge for food for brand new vehicles, mentioned Ian Plummer, business director at on-line auto market Auto Dealer.

He defined, “Latest gross sales progress has been pushed by the fleet section, however early indications in our market level to a waning urge for food for brand new vehicles as the price of residing disaster bites into the market.”

Visits to the Auto Dealer website have been up 17 % from a yr in the past in March, and new automotive stock was up a few third (30 %).

However the quantity of customers viewing new automotive advertisements and inquiring about new vehicles fell by greater than 12 % and 40 %, respectively.

“Presently, virtually all new automotive gross sales (93 %) are bought via financing, so we suspect greater rates of interest are in charge.”

With greater than 46,600 registrations recorded in March, it was the very best month for brand new electrical car gross sales ever
Gasoline autos remained the preferred gas in March, accounting for greater than half (56.3%) of gross sales in March.

A brand new report for month-to-month electrical car gross sales

Gasoline vehicles remained the preferred gas, accounting for greater than half (56.3%) of gross sales in March.

Nonetheless, BEV shipments hit a month-to-month report, with about 46,626 coming into the street final month.

This was boosted by the arrival in March of a contemporary cargo of recent Teslas, which noticed the Mannequin Y SUV – which begins at £44,490 – leap to the highest of the gross sales charts with 8,123 registrations.

This put the Mannequin Y forward of the British-made Nissan Juke and Qashqai crossovers.

The Nissan pair – each produced on the Sunderland manufacturing unit – are the best-selling vehicles of the yr thus far, with the bigger Qashqai topping the chart.

The arrival of a cargo of the brand new Tesla Mannequin Y SUV helped enhance gross sales of electrical vehicles. It noticed the US automotive leap to the highest of the chart in March
The Mannequin Y SUV prices from £44,490 within the UK. Some 8,123 examples hit our roads final month
The British-made Nissan Qashqai SUV is the best-selling new automotive of the yr thus far, because it was in 2022. Some 11,073 have been bought – 61% of which have been bought in March.

Reductions on new electrical autos — and the continued success of low-tax wage sacrifice schemes for electrical autos — have helped drive demand for brand new fashions, however are having the alternative impact on the used electrical car market, with some used battery vehicles falling out of favor. by greater than 30 % in comparison with final March.

Together with plug-in hybrid (PHEV) registrations — up 11.8 % — the info exhibits that 22.4 % of recent vehicles final month had a plug socket.

Nonetheless, the largest progress for the gas sort was in hybrid autos (HEVs), with a 34.3 % improve serving to electrified autos report multiple in three registrations for the month.

Greater than a fifth of automakers’ gross sales must be electrical autos from subsequent yr

Learn extra: Learn our newest report on the Zero Emissions Automobile (ZEV) Mandate

“The very best month ever for zero-emissions vehicles displays elevated client selection and improved availability, but when the ambitions of the electrical car market – and regulation – are to be met, infrastructure funding should catch up,” mentioned Mike Howes.

The affirmation of a report month of demand for brand new electrical autos comes only a week after the federal government confirmed it was near introducing a zero-emissions car (ZEV) mandate in 2024.

This might require that subsequent yr 22 per cent of all automotive gross sales within the UK from main automakers can be electrical fashions – and that share of gross sales will improve yearly till it reaches 100 per cent in 2035.

Failure to satisfy these ZEV targets will end in producers being fined £15,000 for every non-emissions mannequin bought.

“As electrical car gross sales proceed to develop, they might want to ramp as much as meet proposed annual targets,” mentioned Jim Holder, managing editor, What Automotive?.

Which means electrical vehicles might want to proceed to change into extra reasonably priced, and charging infrastructure might want to enhance considerably if these electrical vehicles are to succeed in those who do not want off-street charging.

“The latter must be a precedence for the federal government, particularly if it will problem annual targets for automakers to satisfy.”

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