New Cars, Market Growth & Outlook

New Car Registrations in April 2023: Market Growth and Future Outlook

The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) has released the latest figures for new car registrations in the UK market, highlighting the ninth successive month of growth in April 2023. With an 11.6% increase compared to the previous year, the market recorded 132,990 registrations, making it the best April performance since 2021. In this article, we delve into the details of the report, shedding light on key insights and trends in the new car market.

New Car Market Records Ninth Consecutive Month of Growth, up 11.6%

The UK new car market continued its upward trajectory in April 2023, marking the ninth consecutive month of growth. The 11.6% increase in registrations showcases the resilience and recovery of the automotive industry. While this growth is encouraging, it's important to note that the market is still down by 17.4% compared to pre-pandemic volumes in 2019.

Battery Electric Vehicles (BEVs) Take 15.4% Market Share

Amidst the growing interest in sustainable mobility, battery electric vehicles (BEVs) have gained significant traction in the market. In April 2023, BEVs accounted for 15.4% of new car registrations, making them the second most popular fuel type. The increasing adoption of BEVs reflects the shift towards cleaner and greener transportation options.

Additional Investment Needed for More Drivers to Make the Switch to BEVs

While the market share of BEVs is steadily rising, there is a need for additional investment to encourage more drivers to make the switch. High energy costs and insufficient charging infrastructure have been identified as factors that could dampen the demand for BEVs. To ensure a smoother transition towards electric mobility, greater investment and support from various stakeholders are crucial.

SMMT Upgrades 2023 Outlook, but BEV Forecast Softens

As supply chain disruptions ease, the overall market has witnessed positive growth in the first four months of the year. This positive trend has prompted the SMMT to upgrade its 2023 outlook, with an upward revision from 1.79 million to 1.83 million new car registrations. However, the forecast for BEVs has softened, with the expected market share being downgraded from 19.7% to 18.4%. This adjustment reflects the challenges related to energy costs and charging infrastructure.

The Importance of Investment in Infrastructure for BEV Adoption

With a zero-emission vehicle mandate on the horizon, investment in infrastructure becomes paramount. To accelerate consumer confidence and uptake of BEVs, government bodies, local authorities, energy companies, and charging providers must expedite their investments in charging stations and related infrastructure. Strengthening the charging network will address the prevalent chargepoint anxiety and facilitate the widespread adoption of electric vehicles.

Implications for Future Market Growth

Despite the positive growth trajectory of the new car market, broader economic conditions and chargepoint anxiety are emerging as potential challenges. The market's eagerness to embrace zero-emission mobility at the required scale and pace is being affected. To overcome these obstacles and ensure all drivers can benefit from electric vehicles, collaborative efforts are needed from government entities, local authorities, energy companies.

Best Sellers by Model, April vs. Year-to-Date