UK Car Market Outlook Downgraded On Supply Chain Constraints

UK car sales are forecast to be lower than the previous projection this year in the backdrop of the ongoing supply chain constraints stemming from the war in Ukraine and the Covid19 pandemic-related restrictions in China, as well as due to broader macroeconomic factors such as inflation and rising interest rates, the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders said Thursday.

The lobby revised down its market outlook for 2022 to 1.72 million units from the 1.89 million units.

“While this still represents a 4.5 percent rise on 2021, it highlights the effect the semiconductor shortage is still having on supply as well as anticipated impacts from rising living costs,” the SMMT said.

The agency observed that plug-in cars are anticipated to account for more than a quarter of market in 2022 but additional assurance is needed for more customers to make the switch.

Further, data showed that car registrations declined 15.8 percent in April from the last year. However, battery electric car registrations bucked the trend, up 40.9 percent.

April’s decline was driven primarily by a 33.3 percent decrease in large fleet registrations, with manufacturers continuing to prioritize private consumers given robust demand, which helped this market segment see a moderate increase of 4.8 percent.

Despite showrooms being open for the entire month, global supply chain shortages, of which semiconductors are the most notable, have continued to constrain the delivery of new vehicles, the lobby noted.

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