The new car market saw a decline of-22% in August as supply constraints caused by the shortage of semiconductors continue to affect registrations, according to the latest SMMT’s new passenger car registration figures.

New car sales decreased by 22% compared to the same month last year as supply constraints continue to affect registrations of new vehicles. A total of 68,033 units were registered in August, whilst 1,101,302 new cars have been registered in the first eight months of 2021. Year to date, the market is 20% above last year, although the overall performance is not yet at pre-pandemic levels.

Positively, demand for the battery electric (BEV), plug-in hybrid (PHEV) and hybrid (HEV) vehicles grew by 32.2%, 72.1% and 45.7% respectively. Sales of diesel cars fell -64.5% and petrol were down -40.4%. Both registrations from fleet and private buyers declined, however sales to private consumers performed better in comparison (-15.2% as opposed to -27.5% for fleets).

Sue Robinson said it was “encouraging” to see that strong sales of electrified vehicles partly offset the monthly decline.

Despite the decrease in new car registrations, franchised vehicle dealers are optimistic about their prospects for the remainder of the year as consumer confidence remains robust, as demonstrated by buoyant sales of used and nearly new cars.

August is traditionally a quiet month and we look forward to seeing what the plate change month of September has in store.