Test drives a ‘struggle’ as new car shortages continue | Industry - Car News Dec 2021

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21:38 Friday 10 Dec 2021

Car dealers are struggling to offer customers test drives as the global semiconductor crisis continues to affect supply.

James Fairclough, CEO at AA Cars, said: "Stock levels of certain models are so low that some dealers are even struggling to offer test drives, let alone fulfil customer orders in anything less than several weeks.”

He warned that “the supply issues could get worse before they get better".

“In recent months the number of new cars rolling off UK production lines has collapsed to its lowest October level in 65 years,” he said. 

"Car factories in other countries have been similarly affected as the global shortage of semiconductors means vehicle production is being held back everywhere.”

His comments follow the latest new car registration figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).

They show that in total, 115,706 new cars were registered in November 2021, an increase of 1.7 per cent compared to November 2020, when sales were affected by Covid-19 lockdown restrictions.

Demand for electric cars continued to grow, with 21,726 registrations (an 18.8 per cent market share), while  sales of plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) increased to 9.3 per cent or 10,796 cars. 

However, compared to pre-Covid-19, the overall new car market was down 31.3 per cent. 

Mike Hawes, chief executive of the SMMT, said: “The global shortage of semiconductors continues to bedevil production and therefore new car registrations. 

“The industry is working flat out to overcome these issues and fulfil orders, but disruption is likely to last into next year, compounding the need for customers to place orders early."

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