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UK car sales have dropped as the sector struggles with supply chain problems and staff shortages, and the pandemic weighs on the economy.
The latest industry data, being released this morning, is expected to show new car registrations in August fell by around 22% compared with a year ago, as the global shortage of semiconductor chips continues to hit output.
This follows a drop of almost 30% in July, when the ‘pingdemic’ of people self-isolating also hit sales.
Demand could also be suffering from more people shifting to hybrid working patterns, and the dip in UK consumer confidence in August.
Reuters has more details:
British new car registrations in August fell 22% year on year, preliminary industry data showed on Monday, with the sector still battling pandemic-related supply difficulties.
Over the first eight months of the year the market is up about 20% from 2020, the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) said, though numbers remain below pre-pandemic levels as the sector contends with semiconductor chip shortages caused by the coronavirus crisis.
Demand is normally quiet in August because many buyers wait until the licence plate series is updated in September, one of the two annual updates.
Last August, car dealers got a post-lockdown sales boost as they reopened after the first wave of Covid-19.
But this year, they’re facing supply challenges, with the number of cars rolling off UK production lines dropping in June, to the lowest level for that month in almost 70 years.
The SMMT will release August’s final sales figures at 9am UK time.
Last month, Volkswagen and Toyota both warned of production cuts because of the global computer chip shortage. Last Friday, Volvo warned that its sales could fall in the second half of 2021, after being forced to cut production due to material shortages.
The latest healthcheck on UK and eurozone construction firms will also show the impact of supply chain problems.
The latest UK construction PMI is expected to see a slowdown, from a pacey 58.7 in July to around 56.9 in August.
European stock markets are set to open slightly higher, after dipping on Friday after a surprisingly weak US jobs report. Wall Street is closed for Labor Day.
- 8.30am BST: Eurozone construction PMI for August
- 9am BST: New UK car registrations for August
- 9.30am BST: UK construction PMI for August
- 10.30am BST: New German car registrations for August