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Financial News: UK Car Registrations Fall In August: SMMT

UK Car Registrations Fall In August: SMMT

09/04/2020 - 05:26:00 (RTTNews)

(RTTNews) - UK new car sales declined in August despite new model boost to the electric vehicle demand, data from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, or SMMT, showed Friday.

New car registrations dropped 5 percent year-on-year in August. Just over 87,000 vehicles were registered in August, which is traditionally the quietest month of the year for car sales.

In July, sales had grown 11.3 percent, which was the first expansion this year. The increase was driven by pent-up demand and special offers.

The lobby said zero emission-capable vehicles enjoyed a bumper August as a result of new models coming to market, with sales of plug-in hybrids surging by 221.1 percent. Private car demand dropped only 1.7 percent, while fleet and business purchases fell by more substantial 5.5 percent and 57.9 percent, respectively.

During January to August period, car registrations remained down by 39.7 percent from the same period last year, around 600,000 units behind this time in 2019.

The decline is disappointing, following some brief optimism in July, Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive, said. However, given August is typically one the new car market's quietest months, it is important not to draw too many conclusions from these figures alone.

With the all-important plate change month just around the corner, September is likely to provide a better barometer, Hawes noted.

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