UK car sales decline in July as industry cuts outlook due to supply chain issues

car sales Reopened Charles Hurst Usedirect used car dealership on Boucher Road in Belfast as restrictions are eased in Northern Ireland allowing new and used cars sales.
The ongoing semiconductor shortage and supply issues contributed to a drop in car sales. Photo: PA

UK new car registrations fell by 9% in July 2022 as the sector continues to be hit by supply and semiconductor shortages.

Registrations totalled 112,162 units in July, down from 123,296 in the year earlier, according to figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).

The car industry body said it was the fifth consecutive month of decline this year, but the smallest drop in 2022 so far.

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The ongoing semiconductor shortage and supply issues contributed to the drop, according to the SMMT. Supply shortages were further exacerbated by lockdowns in China.

According to the SMMT battery electric vehicle (BEV) uptake grew nearly 10% to 12,243 units, gaining a 10.9% market share for July, but it was the weakest monthly growth since the pandemic.

SMMT has lowered 2022 outlook for new car registrations to 1.6 million from a prior forecast of 1.72 million. The prediction for 2023 has also been lowered, but next year is still expected to be an improvement on this year at around 1.89 million registrations.

The Nissan Qashqai was July’s best-selling car in the UK, selling 2514 units. That was followed by the Mini Hatch, with 2410 units sold, and the Hyundai Tucson with 2267 units shifted.

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Mike Hawes, chief executive of the SMMT, said: "The automotive sector has had another tough month and is drawing on its fundamental resilience during a third consecutive challenging year as the squeeze on supply bedevils deliveries.

"While order books are strong, we need a healthy market to ensure the sector delivers the carbon savings government ambitions demand. The next prime minister must create the conditions for economic growth, restore consumer confidence and support the transition to zero emission mobility."

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