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.”

Great to see DealerDesk utilising our API to enable retailers to instantly publish and update their Auto Trader adverts without the traditional wait for old-fashioned stock feeds!
August saw record levels of demand from consumers seeking out their next vehicle. But with supply issues continuing, what can you do to ensure your forecourt remains stocked to meet demand? Find out in our latest blog by @MarcThornboroug👇
Register for our next webinar where we’ll be exploring the latest in automotive logistics with special guest Thomas Mallet of Ecomotive Logistics. We’ll also be sharing our final step in addressing admin fees along with an update on the market 👉
155,000 vehicles are underpriced on Auto Trader, meaning that there is a staggering amount of profit being missed out on by retailers. Find out more and what you can do to ensure you’re not leaving any profit on the table in this week’s tip of the week with @AndrewKorpela
The popularity of electric vehicles continues to grow with the @Hyundai_UK IONIQ 5 being the most viewed new car on our platform over the last month. Will we see an electric vehicle top of the list next month and what needs to be done to sustain interest? Let us know👇
The @KiaUK Soul EV came out top among consumers looking for an EV that offers great value, taking the Best Value Electric Car at the Auto Trader New Car Awards 2021.
Demand for vans continues to increase with last month seeing the number of leads per new van on our marketplace grow a staggering 44% compared to August 2020, a new record. Overall van leads are also up by 30% vs 2020.
On 22nd September we’ll complete our admin fees journey by adding the admin fee into the total advertised price and reflecting this in our valuations and price indicators. Find out more in our latest blog👇
We're delighted to be supporting this year's @BenSupport4Auto Ben Ball taking place on the 8th Dec at the Roundhouse. There are now just a handful of tables left so be sure to book yours now to avoid missing out 👉
Our latest Monthly Market Intelligence report is now live. Check it out now to discover our latest new and used car market insights along a focus on EV pricing👉

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