The First Nine Months Has Been Challenging For The U.K. New Car Registrations Market, With Diesel Registrations Continuing The Rapid Decline to Obsolescence. However, All-Electric Cars Registrations Continue to Skyrocket With An Increase Of More Than 122%!
As I looked out from the 27th floor of my office building overlooking St James’s park in central London, I was reminded that autumn is well underway and time to reflect on the performance of the U.K. automotive market in 2019.
Earlier in October, the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) had released the latest figures for the U.K. new car market. For most looking at the update, the news would have been unwelcomed. However, for me, I was rather pleased with the update!
Indeed, for anyone concerned with the devastating impact of the high levels of air pollution on their loved ones, the continued rapid decline of diesel registrations is an early Christmas present.
- Diesel market share has continued to plummet in 2019. The market share dropped from 31.7% in 2018 to 25.8%. In fact, diesel new car registrations declined by 20.3% in September 2019 compared to September 2018. Good riddance to …….!
- However despite the continued annihilation of the diesel sector, the all-electric, battery electric vehicle (BEV) segment, witnessed a stupendous increase of 236.4% in September 2019 compared to September 2018. In fact year-to-date pure electric car registrations are up a feverish 122.1%! According to the SMMT “There was good news for the battery electric cars (BEVs), which saw the biggest percentage growth of all fuel types, up 236.14% (5,414 units) as new models boosted registrations.”
- The combined market share for BEVs and PHEVs has now crossed 2.5% and edging fast to 3%. Total units sold so far in 2019: 47,870.
- With the increase in available models and volumes of battery electric vehicles in 2020, we predict the market share will increase substantially. In fact, if automotive manufacturers had manufactured larger volumes of ultra–low-emission vehicles (ULEVs), in particular BEVs in 2019, the all-electric car market share would have been a lot more. And this is the point, the fierce positive momentum of the rapid adoption of EVs has only been held back due to supply constraints.
- A case in point is the Kia all-electric e-Niro. The allocated supply for the U.K. market was sold out in less than a month, with many eager customers now having to wait till 2020 for deliveries for orders placed now. Boardrooms at mainstream automotive manufactures like Kia Motors, have hugely underestimated the latent demand as consumers shy away from polluting vehicles and migrate to zero-emission road transportation.
- The SMMT was quick to point out that ‘Brexit uncertainty stifles consumer confidence’. While we do not disagree with this assertion, we do believe there are other valid reasons, to include the lack of availability of significant volumes of BEVs that have also contributed to the lacklustre performance of the U.K. market. Bottom-line, many potential buyers rather wait for a zero-emission electric car, instead of rushing today to buy a pollution diesel or petrol car!
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