August Goes Electric

Thu 7th Oct 2021

The ongoing shortage of microchips in the automotive industry is thought to be behind the record low month of new cars sales this August.

It’s the lowest month of sales in the new millennium, with the weakest batch of new registrations since way back in 1998, and while the microchip shortage is one reason, financial analysts are also pointing to the fact that many potential car buyers will have been waiting for the new registration plate to come out in September.

“Despite strong demand for new vehicles over the summer, three successive months have been hit by stalled supply due to reduced semiconductor availability, especially from Asia,” said SMMT chief executive Mike Hawes.

“Nevertheless, manufacturers are taking every measure possible to maintain deliveries and customers can expect attractive offers on a range of new vehicles.”

The slump of 45 per cent against a pre-pandemic ten year average will shock many within the industry, however, it is not all doom and gloom, particularly for Tesla who with their Model 3 sold the most models of any car brand last month, with sales of 6,879, beating the Corsa into second place - the perennial favourite, Ford Fiesta didn’t even figure in the top ten of best sellers.

Tesla, and the performance of EVs overall was acknowledged by the SMMT.

Hawes said: “Despite the challenges [of semiconductor chip shortages], the rocketing uptake of plug-in vehicles, especially battery electric cars, demonstrates the increasing demand for these new technologies.

“However, to meet our collective decarbonisation ambitions, we need to ensure all drivers can make the switch – not just those with private driveways – requiring a massive investment in public recharging infrastructure. 

“Chargepoint roll-out must keep pace with the acceleration in plug-in vehicle registrations.”