Fleets drive sales surge
- 4 June 2021
- Posted by: Alan Feldberg
- Category: News
New car registrations increased eight-fold from May 2020 to May 2021, according to the latest figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).
It found that new car registrations in May reached 156,737 units, which is still 14.7% down on pre-pandemic May 2019.
Fleet registrations grew more than twice as fast as private purchases in May. Large fleets accounted for 50.7% of all new vehicles hitting the road, demonstrating improving business confidence compared to the same month last year.
Battery electric vehicle (BEV) market share declined from 12% a year ago to 8.4% in the past month, although the May 2020 performance was distorted by lockdowns when new cars could only be purchased through click and collect or delivery, giving rise to variable purchasing patterns.
Plug-in vehicles now comprise 13.8% of new car registrations, up from 7.2% a year earlier, with the most rapid growth seen in plug-in hybrid (PHEV) derivatives.
Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive, said: “With dealerships back open and a brighter, sunnier, economic outlook, May’s registrations are as good as could reasonably be expected. Increased business confidence is driving the recovery, something that needs to be maintained and translated in private consumer demand as the economy emerges from pandemic support measures. Demand for electrified vehicles is helping encourage people into showrooms, but for these technologies to surpass their fossil-fuelled equivalents, a long term strategy for market transition and infrastructure investment is required.”