As the new car market continues to be impacted by the global shortage of semiconductors, there was some good news this week as the used car market returned to growth after two consecutive quarters of decline. While this is somewhat unsurprising given the UK was in the midst of a lockdown during the first three months of 2021, growth of 5.1% is welcome.
Even more welcome was the number of electric vehicles filtering through to second owners. Sales of battery electric cars more than doubled (120.2%) from 6,625 to 14,586, a new record for the first quarter of the year. Plug-in hybrids and hybrids also saw growth of 35.3% and 28.8% respectively.
However, petrol and diesel powertrains continue to dominate the used market, making up 96.2% of all transactions, reaffirming the fact that there is still some way to go before we see the recent growth in new EV registrations replicated in the second hand arena. Crucial to this will be a buoyant new car market which drives the fleet renewal so essential to the delivery of carbon savings.
Elsewhere this week the Queen’s Speech on Tuesday focused on the Government’s commitment to strengthening the UK economy. Bills of note included legislation to enact the UK’s FTAs with Australia and New Zealand; a Brexit Freedoms Bill removing supremacy of certain EU laws in UK statute, an Energy Security Bill which will deliver the Government’s Energy Security and Supply Strategy, as well as Bills to improve public procurement and access to public contracts, and changes to the valuation process for business rates. However, of all the 38 Bills announced, legislation to support the roll out of EV charging infrastructure and prepare the UK for connected and automated vehicles are the most relevant to the sector.
The event, an integral fixture in the UK automotive calendar, will attract an audience of senior representatives from across the industry as well as government, media and other stakeholders, seeking to address key issues including sustainability, competitiveness, retail and future workforce requirements.
As ever, we will be joined by a host of speakers including political keynotes from a senior cabinet minister as well as Jonathan Reynolds MP, Shadow Secretary of State or Business and Industrial Strategy, as well as industry keynotes from Chris Giles, Editor, Financial Times and Laurence Drake, Managing Director, DAF Trucks.
Tickets for SMMT International Automotive Summit 2022 are available now and I hope to see many of you there. SMMT Members are eligible for one complimentary ticket per member organisation.
For information on tickets and sponsorship opportunities, please contact Seventy Events team by email SMMTSummit@smmt.co.uk or call 0207 101 3185