Currently reading: July new car sales fall 9% year on year as shortages impact orders
Registrations dropped to 112,162 units in July as a result of supply and semiconductor shortages

New car registrations in the UK fell by 9% in July as global supply shortages and Covid-19 lockdowns meant manufacturers struggled to fulfil orders, according to figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT). 

Registrations totalled 112,162 units in July, down from 123,296 in July 2021. The SMMT said it was the fifth consecutive month of decline this year, but the smallest drop in 2022 so far.

The ongoing semiconductor shortage and supply issues contributed to the drop, according to the SMMT. Supply shortages were further exacerbated by Covid-19 lockdowns in major manufacturing countries such as China. 

Large fleet registrations were hit most significantly, down 18.2% year on year to 50,014 units. Dealers are said to be prioritising private registrations, which grew by 3.7% in July to 59,847 units. 

Battery-electric vehicles (BEVs) achieved healthy growth, with registrations rising 9.9% year on year to 12,243 units. Despite this being the weakest monthly uplift in BEVs sales so far this year, they now claim a 10.9% market share in the UK.

Meanwhile, hybrids suffered a small drop of 6.7%, taking a 12.2% market share, and plug-in hybrids fell heavily by 34%, slicing their market share to 5.8%. With a drop of 29.3%, diesel registrations continued to decline. Petrol registrations also dropped slightly by 7.2%. 

SMMT boss Mike Hawes suggested the next prime minister would have to restore customer confidence and create the right conditions to grow the economy while focusing on the shift to cleaner automotive technologies. 

Hawes said: “The automotive sector has had another tough month and is drawing on its fundamental resilience during a third consecutive challenging year as the squeeze on supply bedevils deliveries. 

“While order books are strong, we need a healthy market to ensure the sector delivers the carbon savings government ambitions demand. The next prime minister must create the conditions for economic growth, restore consumer confidence and support the transition to zero-emission mobility.”

The brand with the largest growth was Cupra. The VWG-owned firm achieved 1839 sales last month, representing growth of 210.13% year-on-year. Autocar has contacted Cupra for comment.

The month's poorest performers were Abarth (-97.04%), Jeep (-62.67%) and Lexus (-57.81%).

The Nissan Qashqai was July’s best-selling car in the UK, as the Japanese car maker shifted 2514 units. It was closely followed by the Mini Hatch (2410) and the Hyundai Tuscon (2267). 

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The Vauxhall Corsa once again topped the overall sales rankings for the year so far, with 24,333 units sold for the year to date.

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