CAR sales experts at the National Franchised Dealers Association have said that new car sales have declined this year but that interest in electric vehicles is still high.
Sue Robinson, chief executive of the NFDA, which represents franchised car and commercial vehicle retailers in the UK, said: “New car sales continued to fall in April, largely driven by supply side constraints, as a result of continued lockdowns in China, impacting the availability of new vehicles.”
In April, a total of 119,167 new cars were registered, a decrease of -15.8 per cent from the same period last year. Sales to private buyers grew by 4.8 per cent; fleet registrations were down by -33.3 per cent.
But battery electric vehicles (BEVs) saw significant growth, up 40.9 per cent to 12,899 units. Plug-in hybrid (PHEVs) registrations declined by -36.6 per cent to 6,449 units, whilst hybrids (HEVs) grew 18.3 per cent to 13,951 units. There are now 175,337 registered EVs on the road in 2022 compared to the 120,541 at the same point last year, a 45.5 per cent increase.
With sales of electric growing, diesel fell from 14,012 units to 6,725 (-52 per cent), and petrol has fallen from 71,173 units to 54,633 (-23.2 per cent).
Ms Robinson said: “Demand is being dampened by the cost of living pressures. NFDA’s state of the market survey reveals cost of living increases are the most concerning factor for franchised dealers, followed by the ongoing supply constraints.
“Buying a new vehicle tends to be the second largest purchase in the life of a consumer, after their house. Therefore, franchised dealers are working extremely hard with the customer to ensure quality of service and customer care at a time when inflationary pressures are beginning to impact decision making.
“It is also of note that sales of electrified vehicles continue to perform very strongly as brands introduce new models. Franchised dealers that have Electric Vehicle Approved (EVA) accreditation are extremely well placed to advise customers on what is the best new vehicle for them.”
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