Press releases

Deloitte comments on SMMT new car registration figures

06 January 2021

Michael Woodward, UK automotive lead at Deloitte, said:

“At the end of a challenging year, it is unsurprising to see year-on-year new car sales fall by 11% in a month that is nearly always quiet for dealers; reflected in both private (-14%), and fleet (-8%) sales.

“2020 saw 29% fewer new cars on the road than in 2019, marking a fourth consecutive year of declining sales and suggesting the fallout may be felt for some time still.

“However, many manufacturers and dealers remain optimistic for the year ahead, in spite of the latest UK lockdown measures. Whilst showrooms will be closed as in previous lockdowns, manufacturing facilities are expected to remain open this time. For dealers, click and collect, MOT and repair services also remain permitted offering a valuable, and profitable, lifeline.

One in ten vehicles sold in the UK now electric

“Electric vehicles continued to outperform the market in December. Both battery electric (BEV) and plug in hybrid (PHEV) vehicles saw year-on-year growth this month, of 344% and 103% respectively. Combined, electric vehicles grew their market share to 23%, up from 6% this time last year. Overall, 2020 was a significant year for EVs with sales topping 175,000 and market share reaching 11%.

“The stage is set for further growth with the government and manufacturers showing significant commitment to EVs. For example, bringing forward the ban on new petrol and diesel sales to 2030 brings the UK in line with some European markets, such as Ireland and The Netherlands, and is more ambitious than many other major European markets; in some cases by a decade.

“This show of commitment, coupled with financial and tax incentives and a growing focus on the green agenda, will make EVs more desirable than ever in 2021 and the sector will have diesel’s 16% share of the market firmly within reach.

“Speed of growth over the next year will depend on consumer confidence in the UK’s’ charging infrastructure. However, we need only look at Norway, which recently reached a landmark EV market share of 54%, to see what is possible with all pieces of the jigsaw in place.”


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.

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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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