Monday, October 26, 2020

UK new car registration declines, weakest in 21 years

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A report released Monday shows Britain’s new car registration declining 4.4 per cent in September from year to year, marking the weakest level since the dual license plate system began in 1999.

The Society of Engine Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) in the report said 328,041 new cars were registered in September, down 15.8 percent from the 10-year average of about 390,000 units for the month.

He stressed that September is traditionally one of the two best months of the year for car sales, adding that plates are changed in the month.

The British Auto Industry Trade Association said some brands saw substantial growth in the month.

The association said that the total of registrations was lower than in previous years and follows an erratic period of market performance since it came out of the lockdown.

According to SMMT, the consumption of plug-in hybrid and battery electric vehicles grew substantially to represent more than one in 10 registrations, as the demand for battery electric vehicles increased by 184.3% compared to September 2019.

Mike Hawes, CEO of SMMT, said that “despite the push for a new registration plate, the introduction of new models and attractive offers, this remains the poorest month of September since the two-plate system was introduced at 1999.

Although the relaxation of closure restrictions starting in June fueled the recovery of the industry, the market still faces continued pressure with “myriad challenges during the next quarter.

“The uncertainty of Brexit and the threat of tariffs still worry the industry, while the move towards vehicles with zero emission capacity requires a large investment by the sector.

“Fleet renewal stagnation across all technologies is hampering efforts to meet climate change and air quality goals now.”

According to Hawes, to get the economy and life back to normal, countries like Britain, China, Russia and the United States are racing against time to develop coronavirus vaccines.

“Unless the pandemic is brought under control and consumer and business confidence is restored throughout the economy, the near-term future looks very challenging.”

Xinhua

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