A report released on Monday shows that new car registration in Britain declined by 4.4 per cent in September year-on-year, marking the weakest since the dual number plate system began in 1999.
The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) in the report said in September, 328,041 new cars were registered, 15.8 per cent lower than the 10-year average of around 390,000 units for the month.
It stressed that September is traditionally one of the two best months in the year for car sales, adding that licence plates are changed in the month.
The trade association for the British motor industry said some brands saw substantial growth in the month.
The association said that total registrations fell short from previous years and follow an erratic period of market performance since emerging from lockdown.
According to SMMT, battery-electric and plug-in hybrid car uptake grew substantially to account for more than one in 10 registrations as demand for battery electric vehicles increased by 184.3 per cent compared with September 2019.
Mike Hawes, chief executive of the SMMT said “despite the boost of a new registration plate, new model introductions and attractive offers, this is still the poorest September since the two-plate system was introduced in 1999.
“Although the relaxation of lockdown restrictions from June fueled the recovery of the industry, the market still faces continued pressure with “myriad challenges over the next quarter.
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“Brexit uncertainty and the threat of tariffs still concern the industry, while the shift towards zero emission-capable vehicles is demanding huge investment from the sector.
“Stalling fleet renewal across all technologies is hampering efforts to meet climate change and air quality targets now.’’
According Hawes, to bring economy and life back to normal, countries such as Britain, China, Russia and the United States, are racing against time to develop coronavirus vaccines.
“Unless the pandemic is controlled and economy-wide consumer and business confidence rebuilt, the short-term future looks very challenging indeed.’’