Car sales fall by a quarter but electric vehicles charge ahead

·1 min read
The UK automotive industry suffered its worst June for new car sales since 1996 (Steve Parsons/PA) (PA Wire)
The UK automotive industry suffered its worst June for new car sales since 1996 (Steve Parsons/PA) (PA Wire)

New car sales dropped by a quarter last month as the global semiconductor shortage and the soaring cost of fuel continued to blight the industry.

Registrations tumbled 24.3% to 140,958 in June, according to latest figures from trade body the Society of Motor Manfacturers and Traders (SMMT). It was the weakest June performance since 1996.

However, sales of battery electric vehicles continued to power ahead with a 14.6% rise to 22,737, or 16.1% of the market. This time last year their market share was just 10.7%.

By contrast sales of plug-in hybrid cars slumped by more than a third to 7,714 and a market share of just 5.5%.

In total, plug-in vehicles made up more than a fifth of new cars joining the road in the month.

SMMT chief executive Mike Hawes, said: “The semiconductor shortage is stifling the new car market even more than last year’s lockdown.

“Electric vehicle demand continues to be the one bright spot, as more electric cars than ever take to the road, but while this growth is welcome it is not yet enough to offset weak overall volumes, which has huge implications for fleet renewal and our ability to meet overall carbon reduction targets.

“With motorists facing rising fuel costs, however, the switch to an electric car makes ever more sense and the industry is working hard to improve supply and prioritise deliveries of these new technologies given the savings they can afford drivers.”