UK Markets closed

UK new car sales see second weakest May in 30 years

·1-min read
Imported cars are parked in a storage area at Sheerness port, Sheerness

(Reuters) - New car registrations in Britain tumbled nearly 21% last month, the second weakest May in three decades after lockdown-hit 2020, as persisting supply challenges hampered sales and deliveries despite robust demand, industry data showed on Monday.

The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) said new car sales in the UK fell to 124,394 units last month, while battery electric vehicles uptake jumped nearly 18% and made up one in eight new cars joining the road.

"In yet another challenging month for the new car market, the industry continues to battle ongoing global parts shortages, with growing battery electric vehicle uptake one of the few bright spots," SMMT Chief Executive Officer Mike Hawes said.

British new car sales this year will likely be lower than previously thought as the cost-of-living squeeze in Britain and persisting chip shortages impact the auto market, the SMMT said last month.

The overall market has declined nearly 9%, equivalent to 62,724 fewer units, so far this year due to supply issues, the SMMT said.

(Reporting by Yadarisa Shabong in Bengaluru; Editing by Shailesh Kuber and Rashmi Aich)