Supply shortages continue to plague new car sales in October


Electric cars continued to defy the manufacturing chaos that continues to plague the auto industry, according to new October automobile registration data released today by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).

Sales of private new cars fell by a modest 3% in October, compared to the same month last year. But fleet registrations fell by more than 40%, which means the overall market decreased by about 25% year-on-year.

As it happened, automakers have struggled to supply new cars due to the continuing shortage of semiconductor chips that help power nearly every aspect of a modern car. It’s a problem that has been affecting the industry for most of this year and is sure to last into next year.

The combination of a relatively stable private segment, a very poor fleet segment and severe supply problems also means that the top ten and overall manufacturers’ results are once again quite confusing.

An electric atmosphere

Nearly half of all new cars registered in October (48%) had some form of electrification. Just over 16% came from light hybrids, where a small electric motor powers a gasoline or diesel engine but cannot run the car on its own. All-electric cars had another stellar month, making up over 15% of all new car registrations for the second consecutive month, while plug-in hybrids and regular hybrids (which cannot be connected but can travel short distances). on electricity alone) both occupied about 8% of the market each.

Unsurprisingly, diesel has had another terrible month, although, for the first time in a while, it hasn’t been yet another “worst month ever”. Close enough, though …

Good month, bad month

It’s been another disastrous month (by its normal high standards) for ford. Traditionally the UK’s largest new car brand, the Blue Oval was only sixth in overall sales behind Volkswagen, BMW, duck, Mercedes Benz Other Audi.

Last month’s best-selling brand, Toyota, returned to a more normal ninth place. Overall, it’s been another month upside down, with each manufacturer’s performance largely dependent on the number of cars available to sell. Against an overall market down by 25%, there were many variations.

It’s been a good (-ish) month for Alfa Romeo, Alpine, Citroën, Dacia, Hyundai, duck, Maserati, Mazda, MG, Mini, Nissan, Peugeot, North Star, Porsche, Shrewd, SsangYong, Subaru Other Suzuki, which were all at least 10% better than the overall market.

In the meantime, it’s been a bad (or even worse) month for Abarth, Audi, DS Automobiles, ford, jaguar, jeep, Land Rover, Mercedes Benz, Skoda Other Toyota, which were all at least 10% worse than the overall market.

Polo is mint while Fiesta loses its flavor

The Volkswagen Polo topped the sales charts in October, just topping the Mini hatch, while the new Nissan Qashqai completed the first three. From there, it was a bit of a mess again.

The Ford Focuss first appeared in months and was the only Ford in the top ten. It was another miserable month for the Ford Fiesta, which appears to have only registered 539 registrations in October – in comparison, Volkswagen has registered six times as many Polos.

All of this means that the Opel Corsa it’s now a certainty nailed to finish 2021 as the UK’s best-selling car, even though Vauxhall has closed all of its showrooms right now. The Fiesta, which has dominated the roost for the past 12 years, has collapsed to fifth place and appears to be in danger of being overtaken by its SUV sibling, the Ford Puma, and could decline further if the Nissan Qashqai continues to sell a storm.

As usual, in the next few days we will have our complete analysis of the top ten.


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