Press releases

Deloitte comments on SMMT new car registration figures

05 May 2022

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

“Total new car sales in April fell by -15.8% compared with the same time last year. While fleet sales have been declining, private sales have continued to perform relatively well, up by 5% this month even against the backdrop of a cost of living crisis. The squeeze on consumer pockets has seen many households delay major purchases in an effort to save money. However, a divergence in consumer spending patterns is emerging; those with higher disposable incomes and savings accumulated over lockdown are still able to spend on new vehicles.

“Although the sector continues to adapt to supply chain challenges – including the ongoing semi-conductor shortage – lead times are less of an issue this month for private sales as many dealers have been able to rely on stock ordered last year.

2022 outlook

“The cost of owning a car is rising, perpetuated by record-high fuel prices at the pumps. For those who lease their vehicles, car repayments already make up a major proportion of many consumers’ household bills.

“The automotive sector must brace for a further fall in demand with just 5% of consumers planning to purchase a car this quarter; a fall from 7% in Q4 2021. This decline will have wider-reaching implications for the sector as it could signify an end to the pent-up demand that was built up during the pandemic.

EVs perform above expectations

“Despite the ongoing challenges faced by the industry, sales of electric vehicles continue to perform above expectations, with battery electric vehicles sales growing by 11% in April. Combined BEV and PHEV sales have accounted for a fifth - 21% - of all new car purchases in the year so far, compared with 14% in the same period last year.

“Some of this growth is directly attributed to a shift in consumer behaviour, with many dealers reporting greater BEV enquiries as the cost of fuel has skyrocketed. With prices unlikely to fall any time soon, we could see faster-than-expected take up of electric vehicles this year.

EV mandates

“April also saw the announcement of a consultation outlining the design of a zero-emission vehicle mandate, which would require manufacturers to sell a certain proportion of BEVs every year in the run up to 2030. This is another major step forwards on the path to an all-electric future and should speed up EV targets. As we get increasing clarity on emissions targets for OEMs, we could see them prioritise the sale of
BEVs over other vehicle types.”


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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