This week, we have sight of the September LCV registration figures. For the first time this year we have a decline, nearly -40% compared with September 2020, although the year-to-date number is still up 28.4% overall. This is not the return of a troubled market – quite the opposite, as demand remains strong. The problem is supply.
The continuing poor availability of semiconductors is preventing manufacturers from making and delivering vehicles. Trucks are also being affected, but the problem is particularly acute in the passenger car sector. Interestingly, despite the challenges, sales of EVs continue to take an increasing market share.
However, the lack of supply is starting to impact across the whole supply chain, with bodybuilders and converters running short of product. Feedback from the industry suggests that the problem should begin to ease during the first quarter of next year, but is unlikely to normalise for another 12 months.
Looking ahead to other factors that will have an impact on the industry in the future, don’t forget to register for SMMT’s Global Trade Conference, which takes place on Tuesday 12 October. This online event starts at 10:00 and will be indispensable for understanding the current place of the UK vehicle sector in international trade, and what we’d like to happen next to help boost growth for all.