Sales recovery slowed by semiconductor shortage

New car registrations grew 28% in June compared to the same month last year.

According to figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), 186,128 new vehicles were registered in the month.

Compared with the previous decade average, however, monthly registrations were down 16.4%, while total registrations for the second quarter were around 9,000 units down on expectations – partly due to the shortage of semiconductors. As a result, overall registrations for the first half of the year are down 26.8%.

Meanwhile, combined, battery electric (BEVs) and plug-in hybrid vehicles (PHEVs) accounted for 17.2% of new vehicles hitting the road.

Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive, said: “With the final phases of the UK’s vaccine rollout well underway and confidence increasing, the automotive sector is now battling against a ‘long Covid’ of vehicle supply challenges. The semiconductor shortages arising from Covid-constrained output globally are affecting vehicle production, disrupting supply on certain models and restricting the automotive recovery.

“However, rebuilding for the next decade is now well underway with investment in local battery production beginning and a raft of new electrified models in showrooms. With the end of domestic restrictions later this month looking more likely, business and consumer optimism should improve further, fuelling increased spending, especially as the industry looks towards September and advanced orders for the next plate change.”