Analysing The Political Economy

New Car Sales UK versus EU

New car sales in the UK were down 15.8% in April 2022 versus April 2021, with the month ending at a total of 119,167 registrations.

The data shows April’s decline was driven primarily by a -33.3% decrease in large fleet registrations as many brands, unable to get enough cars built to match demand, continue to prioritise the typically more profitable private consumer segment, which helped this market segment see a modest increase of 4.8 per cent.

However, smaller business registration volumes fared better, growing by 15.4%.

Blaming the ongoing impact of supply chain constraints and broader macro-economic factors such as rising inflation and global political uncertainties, the usual April re-forecast has led to a downgrade of its market outlook for the full 2022 year.

A quarter of all new cars sold this year will be plug-in vehicles: either pure battery electric vehicles (BEV) or plug-in hybrids (PHEV). These have represented just over one in five new cars registered year-to-date so an uplift is expected as more and more new plug-in cars are launched.

Meanwhile, passenger car sales in the European Union fared worse overall though as they plunged 20.6% year-on-year to 684,506 units in April of 2022, due to the ongoing supply chain disruptions.

With the exception of the pandemic year in 2020, this was the weakest April result in terms of volumes sold since records began.

All major markets recorded double-digit drops in sales, including the four key markets: Italy (-33.0%), France (-22.6%), Germany (-21.5%) and Spain (-12.1%).

In the first four months of the year, new car registrations dropped 14.4% year-on-year to around 2.9 million units.



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