UK market on course for toughest year since 1982

Europe

The UK auto market is on course to face its toughest year since 1982 as the country reels from a cost-of-living squeeze and surging inflation, together with the impact of persisting chip shortages across the globe, the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) said.

The warning came as the group released monthly data showing that UK new-car sales rose 26 percent to 134,344 in October.

Despite the jump, sales of full-electric cars failed to match the market increase, rising 23 percent to a 14.8 percent market share, the first time the share has dropped since May 2021, the SMMT said.

“A strong October is hugely welcome, albeit in comparison with a weak 2021, but it is still not enough to offset the damage done by the pandemic and subsequent supply shortages,” SMMT CEO Mike Hawes said in the statement.

The SMMT has revised its market outlook for the year to 1.56 million. In 1982, registrations were 1.55 million.

Through October, overall UK registrations fell 5.6 percent to 1.34 million.

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