Press releases

Deloitte comments on SMMT new car registration figures

6 September 2021

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

“New car sales in August were down 22% year-on-year as ongoing supply issues weighed heavy on the industry. A fall in both private (-15%) and fleet (-28%) sales contributed to the overall decline this month, despite the fact that both consumer and business confidence are on the up.

Industry positive on charging commitments

“Whilst we’ve seen positive growth in EVs again this month, for take up to grow consumers will be looking for tangible improvements to the UK’s charging infrastructure in the run up to 2030. For example, charging needs to be readily available to those without off-street parking and visible on forecourts up and down the UK’s road networks in order to put to rest any anxiety about charging on long journeys. With this in mind, it is positive to see new commitments to EV charging from both utilities and regulators this past month.

Supply issues begin to bite

“At the start of the year - prior to the semi-conductor shortage - the stage looked set for a strong recovery from the pandemic. However, this has been hampered by supply issues that have left manufacturers and dealers alike in limbo for several months, unable to meet the return of pre-pandemic consumer demand. The repercussions of the semi-conductor shortage have been felt across the globe, highlighting some fundamental issues in the automotive supply chain. Manufacturers will want to improve their resilience and reduce the risk of similar supply shortages in future, with a reconfiguration of the automotive supply chain likely.

September projections softened, despite 71-plate

“As the semi-conductor shortage continues, even as far as Q2 2022, new car sales will be impacted. All eyes will be on September, with plate change months traditionally leading to some of the biggest months for new car sales. Whilst there will be consumer interest in the new 71-plate, some in the industry are tempering their expectations. Dealer pre-registrations are significant contributors to September’s figure but the motive to pre-reg may be lower-than-normal, as some manufacturers have softened dealer targets and are currently only building to order, anyway.

“The issues surrounding the supply of new cars has continued to push people towards the used car market. This has resulted in the average price of a used car being close to £15,000 – 11% higher than last year.

EVs approach one in five market share

“Despite the ongoing challenges around supply, EVs continued to outperform the market. However, the rate of growth has slowed this year, with battery electric (32%) and plug-in hybrid vehicles (72%) registering double, rather than triple, digit growth. August’s sales figures saw EVs hold a combined 18% of the market, approaching one in five of all new car sales. Consumer demand for EVs is growing, but hindered by continuing supply chain issues.”


Notes to the editor

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.

For more information, please visit

Member of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited.

Did you find this useful?