Press releases

Deloitte comments on SMMT new car registration figures

05 April 2022

Jamie Hamilton, automotive director and head of electric vehicles at Deloitte, said:

“New car sales in March fell by -14.3% compared with March 2021; a time when sales were also feeling the negative effect of showroom closures as a result of COVID-19 restrictions. This will be disappointing for a month that is traditionally the biggest for new vehicle purchases with the release of new registration plates. We expect more significant sales to be felt in September when the next plate change is due. Many dealers have put in their orders now to build a pipeline of stock in preparation.

“It’s clear that the automotive industry is still recovering from the pandemic, with momentum regularly stalled by supply issues. The sector now faces new economic challenges; most notably with high levels of inflation and a squeeze on the cost of living. Combined, these factors have contributed to a sharp decline in consumer and economic confidence, dampening any underlying pent-up demand for new cars.

“A fall in consumer demand and higher oil and raw material prices are also piling additional pressure on manufacturers at a time when the sector continues to contend with supply chain disruption. In particular, the ongoing semi-conductor shortage remains a major issue for the automotive sector.

EVs given jump start from Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Strategy

“Battery electric (BEV) vehicles grew by 78.7% in March, though plug-in hybrid electric (PHEV) sales fell by -7.5% over the same period. Their combined market share remains strong though, at 22.7%, compared to 13.8% in the same period in 2021.

“The government’s long awaited Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Strategy announced in March adds important momentum to the journey towards an all-electric future and race to net zero. The commitment of reaching 300,000 public chargepoints by 2030 will help alleviate anxiety amongst the one in three UK households who don’t have off-street parking, making access to EVs more equitable in the future.

“The strategy also makes a welcome commitment to working with commercial fleets. Even with a fall of -34.4% of fleet sales in March 2022, they still account for two-fifths of all new car sales in the UK. Supporting their electrification will be key to achieving 2030 targets. In order to avoid any shocks along the way, now is the time for private companies to begin considering their EV transition plans.

“With car manufacturers and others within the private sector also making significant commitments to electric mobility, this strategy begins to remove some of the constraints to continued future growth.”


Note to editors

About Deloitte Legal

Deloitte Legal means the legal practices of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited member firms or their affiliates that provide legal services. In the UK, Deloitte Legal covers both legal advisory (regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority) and non-SRA regulated legal consulting services. For legal, regulatory and other reasons, not all member firms provide legal services.

About Deloitte

In this press release references to “Deloitte” are references to one or more of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited (“DTTL”) a UK private company limited by guarantee, and its network of member firms, each of which is a legally separate and independent entity. Please see for a detailed description of the legal structure of DTTL and its member firms.

Deloitte LLP is a subsidiary of Deloitte NSE LLP, which is a member firm of DTTL, and is among the UK's leading professional services firms.

The information contained in this press release is correct at the time of going to press.

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