FLEET and business registrations helped give a boost to car sales figures in October, according to latest SMMT data.
Fleet grew 47.4% to 67,911 units, while smaller businesses recorded a massive 108.6% increase although the caveat it’s only a small part of the overall market picture.
Zero emission capable car deliveries continued to grow in volume, with battery electric vehicle (BEV) registrations increasing by 23.4% to 19,933 and plug-in hybrids (PHEVs) by 6.2% to 8,899. However, supply-restricted EV uptake grew by less than the overall market for the first time since the pandemic, meaning October is the first month to see BEV market share fall year on year since May 2021. The SMMT says this is due to supply challenges – something which many SMEs will be far too aware of.
2022 is set to represent another record year for EV uptake, with vehicle registrations well on track to surpass the 190,000 registered last year alone. The figures demonstrate real sustained progress along the UK’s electrification journey and paint a promising picture for achieving net zero. However, supply chain issues and economic uncertainty continue to present challenges for the market. To ensure that the momentum we have built doesn’t stall, fleet managers must be given the confidence they need to make the switch to electric. All eyes will be on the Chancellor’s autumn statement this month in the hope that he will provide a long-awaited update on company car tax tables beyond 2025 to give businesses the cost clarity to make long-term decisions.
Ongoing supply chain shortages, surging inflation and a growing cost of living crisis have led to the SMMT revising downward by -2.2% the market outlook for 2022, with 1.566 million registrations now anticipated. This puts 2022 on course to be the market’s toughest year since 1982. More positively, demand for electric vehicles is anticipated to result in a plug-in market share of 21.9%. Overall market recovery is anticipated to continue through 2023, with an outlook of 1.808 million units and plug-ins accounting for 26.7% of registrations next year, the SMMT added.
Strangely, in the month that Ford announced the demise of the Fiesta, it hit the number one sales spot in the charts, outgunning the Nissan Qashqai (second) and the Volkswagen Golf (third).