“February’s increase in new car sales was highly anticipated since last year’s market was heavily affected by the lockdown; as the industry enters the important plate change month of March, franchised vehicle dealers are prepared to help consumers find the right vehicle for their needs”, 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.
February, a traditionally small month, saw 58,994 new cars registered, an increase of 15.0% from the same period last year when registrations were severely impacted by covid related closures and restrictions with retailers selling cars only via click & collect. This February, sales to private customers were up by 30.0%, whilst sales to fleet saw a marginal 2.0% rise.
Despite the increase, the market remains -25.9% below pre-pandemic levels as supply issues continue to impact sales. Year to date, the new car market is 23.0% above last year’s results.
Sales of electrified vehicles continued their upward trend. In February, Battery Electric Vehicles (BEVs) grew by 196.3% and Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEVs) rose 48.9%. Sales of petrol and diesel vehicles were down -10.5% and -42.0% respectively.
Sue Robinson added: “Looking further ahead, supply-side constraints are likely to continue to remain a factor, driven by known macro events.
“Notwithstanding that, NFDA will continue to work with members to ensure that they continue to assist their customers with everything from service plans to nearly new and used vehicle sales.
“The majority of franchised dealers are cautiously optimistic about the levels of consumer demand in 2022 despite the impact of external factors and are looking forward to a busy plate change month”.
NOTES TO EDITORS