The SMMT reports that 328,041 new cars were registered in September, the weakest volume since the dual number plate system was introduced in 1999. Registrations were down 4.4% lower than September 2019 and some 15% down on the ten year September average.
2020 nine-month registrations totalled 1.24 million, reflecting a 615,000 unit year to date shortfall.
More encouragingly, says the SMMT, battery electric and plug-in hybrid car uptake grew substantially to account for more than one in 10 registrations as new models continue to increase consumer choice. Demand for battery electric vehicles (BEVs) increased by 184.3% compared with September last year, with the month accounting for a third of all 2020’s BEV registrations. The SMMT emphasises that meeting accelerated ambitions for uptake of these vehicles will require government to get behind a truly world-class package of incentives – alongside binding targets on infrastructure to reassure consumers that recharging will be as easy as re-filling.
The UK van market accelerated in September with registrations increasing by 26% year on year. In total, 52,096 vans, pickups and 4x4s were registered in the month, up some 10,880 units on a weak September 2019, when regulatory changes distorted the market.
Nearly all segments saw double digit increases, with the only exception small vans (less than or equal to 2.0 tonnes) decreasing -2.5%. Registrations of medium vans weighing more than 2.0 tonnes to up to 2.5 tonnes grew 11.6%, while the biggest segment, larger vans weighing more than 2.5 and up to 3.5 tonnes saw the sharpest increase, up by 9,000 units, or 40.9% on September last year.
Year to date registrations remained 27.4% down compared with same period 2019, reflecting a shortfall of almost 80,000 units.