UK car sales in October at lowest level since 1991

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In the United Kingdom, October was not the best month for the automotive sector. Sales fell by as much as 25 percent to the lowest level since 1991. Not surprisingly, the chip shortage and the pandemic are the main culprits.

The outlook is not too good for British car sales. This month, according to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), 106,265 new cars were registered, which is the lowest level for October since 1991. By the end of the year, the trade association expects total sales to reach 1.66 million cars. For reference, that is only 1.9 percent higher than last year, while 2020 was the year in which the corona measures had a major impact on production and sales.

It is therefore not so much the corona measures that are the problem this year. The chip shortage is the main culprit. SMMT CEO Mike Hawes confirms to Autonews Europe that current sales figures reflect the problems in manufacturers’ supply chains, but are also the result of rising inflation, higher taxes and a decline in consumer confidence. Incidentally, it is not only the British car market that has to deal with a sharp decline. Other major markets in Europe are hit just as well, with sharp declines for Italy (-36 percent), Germany (-35 percent), France (-31 percent) and Spain (-21 percent).

The Volkswagen Polo was the UK’s best-selling passenger car in October. Volkswagen also records the highest sales figure of all brands with 9,052 units. BMW comes in second with 7,778 cars, while Kia is last on the podium with 7,436 cars. Mercedes-Benz and Audi take fourth and fifth place with 6,856 and 6,841 cars respectively.

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