UK DATA: November car sales rise 23.5% on year: SMMT

New car registrations in the UK totaled 142,889 units in November, up 23.5% year on year, according to Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders data Dec. 5.

It was the fourth year-on-year increase since February, according to the data, with manufacturers continuing efforts to fulfill orders amid erratic global components supply, although the volume was still 8.8% below pre-pandemic 2019 levels due to global and domestic economic challenges, the SMMT said.

The volume was 6.4% higher than October.

For the first 11 months of 2022, total new car registrations totaled 1.49 million units, down 3.4% year on year, the SMMT said.

“Recovery for Britain’s new car market is back within our grasp, energized by electrified vehicles and the sector’s resilience in the face of supply and economic challenges,” SMMT CEO Mike Hawes said.

“As the sector looks to ensure that growth is sustainable for the long term, urgent measures are required – not least a fair approach to driving EV adoption that recognizes these vehicles remain more expensive, and measures to compel investment in a charging network that is built ahead of need,” he said, adding that this would encourage consumer appetite and accelerate the UK’s journey to net0zero.

BEV sales up 35.2%

Battery electric vehicles sales rose 35.2% year on year in November to 29,372 units, which also up 20.6% from October, the data showed.

The BEV market share was 20.6% in November, up from 18.8% a year ago and a 14.8% share in October.

So far in 2022, 224,919 BEVs have been sold in the UK, up 38% year on year and making up 15.1% of total sales, up from 10.6% in January-November 2021.

According to the SMMT, plug-ins account for 27.7% of new registrations, as BEVs took their largest monthly share of the new car market in 2022.

Higher EV demand has been one factor boosting battery raw material prices. Platts, part of S&P Global Commodity Insights, assessed seaborne lithium carbonate and lithium hydroxide at $77,200/mt CIF North Asia and $83,000/mt CIF North Asia Dec. 5, up 128% and 162%, respectively, since the start of 2022.

The volume of hybrid EVs climbed 66.9% year on year to 16,066 units in November, which also increased 2.3% from the previous month and was a market share of 11.2%, up from an 8.3% share a year ago.

Sales of plug-in hybrid EVs, however, fell 5.7% year on year to 10,186 units, although this rose 14.5% from October.

The volume was 11.2% of the total market share, up from 8.3% a year ago.

ICE vehicles at 44.2% share

Meanwhile, the market share of petrol and diesel internal combustion engine vehicles fell on the year to 44.2% in November, down from a 48.4% share a year ago and from October’s 47.1% share to the lowest combined market share since December 2021.

Petrol cars continued to hold the largest market share at 40.3% or 57,590 units, which was down from a 43.3% share in November 2021.

The volume of petrol vehicle sales climbed 15% on the year in November and were 1% higher on the month, according to the SMMT.

At 5,605 units, diesel vehicles’ market share was 3.9%, down from 5.1% a year ago.

The diesel volume was down 5.6% year on year and 11.7% lower on the month.

For the first 11 months of 2022, petrol vehicle sales fell 11.1% year on year to 640,382 units, while diesel vehicle sales dropped 39.5% to 78,975 units, the SMMT data showed.

— Jacqueline Holman