Press release

New car registrations | July 2021

Auto Trader's commercial director, Ian Plummer, shares his thoughts on the latest new car registrations from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT)

“The new car sector has been dealt a perfect storm of which the full impact on retail is only now being realised. The semi-conductor shortage coupled with rising commodity prices, has dramatically hampered new car production, and with no clear end in sight, it’s likely we’ll feel the ramifications into early next year.

“However, it would be easy to misinterpret these results as a drop in consumer demand for new cars, but our data shows that couldn’t be further from the truth. In fact, 1.4 million people viewed a new car on Auto Trader in July, which is up 6% compared to last year’s post lockdown July sales burst and more than double 2019 levels. With such strong demand, we’re clearly in the grips of a “seller’s market” at the moment, although the potential lost sales make the supply constraints all the more frustrating for car brands and retailers alike while they’re unable to reap all the benefits of this bounce back. Reassuringly however, with three quarters of car buyers prepared to buy a used car if their brand-new choice wasn’t available, our research highlights the opportunity to convert new buyers to used. This huge surge in demand, coupled with tightening supply, has pushed used car prices up a record 14.1% year-on-year; a trend which we may begin to see in the new car market too.

“As a result of these supply constraints, it’s now very hard to see full year sales getting up to let alone beyond the SMMT’s latest 2021 forecast of circa 1.82 million new car.  However, if we had free supply, and based on the current levels of consumer demand in the market, as well as improvements in the key economic metrics of improved consumer confidence and lower than expected unemployment rates, our modelling suggests that the market would achieve a natural level of a far more robust 2.4 million.

“It’s good to see another strong performance for electric and alternatively fuelled vehicles. On our marketplace, plug-in electric cars account for one in seven searches, and in July, levels of demand had increased over 100% year-on-year. However, battery electric vehicles are predicted to account for less than 10% of the new car market this year, which highlights just how far we have to go to meet the government’s ambitious 2030 “road to zero” targets. I hope this acts as a wake-up call that more needs to be done to help convert considerers into buyers. Comments from Allegra Stratton over the weekend only serve to fuel misconceptions amongst car buyers and risks undermining industry efforts.”

Over 75% of all time spent on UK automotive sites is spent on Auto Trader. 20% more leads were delivered to retailers in 2021 than in 2020, a sign of strong buyer intent and the ever-increasing importance of online in the buying process. https://t.co/AySv9w7RwG
Over 75% of all time spent on UK automotive sites is spent on Auto Trader. 20% more leads were delivered to retailers in 2021 than in 2020, a sign of strong buyer intent and the ever-increasing importance of online in the buying process. https://t.co/YiU38W6Vc5
Our CEO Nathan Coe will be live on next week's webinar to answer your questions. You can submit your questions to him in the comments and when you register to join the webinar live at https://t.co/rdtNiD8APu https://t.co/d99VfhPofQ
Last week saw the 89th week of consecutive used car price growth, with prices rising 28.6% year-on-year. With used car prices continuing to rise it’s crucial to keep repricing your stock inline with the market to ensure you aren’t leaving profit on the table. https://t.co/MRHJVoNvzs
2021 was a record year for new electric vehicles on our marketplace which saw a record number of advert views in 2021, with 1 in 5 new car advert views now for an electric vehicle. What EVs do you think we'll see drawing the most attention in 2022? https://t.co/niblnnJaPl
Looking to evolve your business by breaking free of outdated data feeds and enabling your customers to have a real-time view of your digital forecourt? Then check out our ‘Essentials to connected retailing’ masterclass now 👉 https://t.co/VggO5GDvFa https://t.co/hRUW9aXDTf
We’re still faced with an element of uncertainty when it comes to the pandemic which means you need to be prepared for any eventuality. So in this week’s tip of the week, @AndrewKorpela shares some top tips on how to make sure you're prepared for whatever is thrown at you next. https://t.co/9cKawLT6Q9
In his latest update, our CEO Nathan Coe shares our latest market insights, including an analysis of consumer demand and pricing, and reveals our plans for 2022. https://t.co/oyxwpJf2U1
With record numbers of new electric vehicle sales and, as we reveal in our latest blog, an electric vehicle being the fastest selling of any used vehicle in 2021, last year really was a victory for voltage 👇 https://t.co/j4Al3nByBL
In our latest Monthly Market Intelligence Report, we analyse the 3 key trends that came to define the automotive industry in 2021, record demand, the growth in used car prices and the acceleration of EV adoption 👉https://t.co/tVW6vpQjxm Will these trends continue through 2022? https://t.co/rITl15odBm

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