UK Car Sales Hit Milestone: Over 1 million Sold in First Half of 2024

The first half of 2024 noticed over 1,000,000 new vehicles bought in the UK, marking a recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. Sales rose by using 6% in comparison to remaining years, with electric cars making up 19% of June’s sales. However, this growth changed into in particular because of enterprise and fleet shoppers, as personal sales continued to say no.


For the primary time for the reason that COVID-19 pandemic, carmakers have sold more than one million automobiles within the UK during the first half of the yr. This marks a tremendous restoration for the enterprise, which has faced many demanding situations in current years.

According to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), car sales inside the first six months of 2024 improved by means of 6%, attaining just over 1 million, in comparison to 949,000 inside the equal length final 12 months. The percentage of electric automobiles hit 19% in June, the highest these 12 months.

Mike Hawes, the chief executive of the SMMT, recommended that the enterprise would possibly sell approximately 2 million cars over the whole yr. While this will be the first time achieving that quantity given that 2019, Hawes referred to that it’d nevertheless be “a piece below par.” Nevertheless, this recuperation is a alleviation for the industry after numerous hard years.

Despite this positive fashion, the increase in car sales is particularly because of enterprise and fleet customers instead of personal shoppers. Hawes defined on BBC Radio four’s Today programme that most human beings purchase cars with a few forms of finance, and with high inflation and interest fees, the value of buying a vehicle has emerge as extra high-priced. As a end result, sales to personal buyers have fallen for the 9th consecutive month, down 12% in the first half of 2024 in comparison to 2023.

Annual car income within the UK peaked in 2016 at a file 2.69 million. After that, they fell for 3 years however remained above 2 million until the pandemic hit in 2020. The pandemic forced factories to pause production and averted humans from journeying showrooms for months, main to a tremendous drop in income. This was accompanied by using years of deliver-chain issues.

In 2023, automobile sales picked up to 1.9 million, even though this becomes nevertheless the weakest 12 months given that before the worldwide financial disaster of 2008, apart from the pandemic years.

The upward thrust of electric vehicles has introduced complexity to the enterprise. Car producers at the moment are required to promote more 0-emissions cars to avoid steep fines. However, European manufacturers have struggled to locate shoppers for his or her electric vehicles, which are frequently priced better than petrol or diesel cars because of the value of batteries. Last week, Stellantis, the owner of Vauxhall, Peugeot, and Fiat, threatened to shut its UK factories because of the 0-emission car (ZEV) mandate.


The marketplace share of pure battery electric new automobiles remained constant inside the first half of 2024 compared to ultimate year, at sixteen.6%, up slightly from sixteen.1% within the first half of 2023.

Hawes referred to that the call for electric motors has plateaued. “When these automobiles have been first in the marketplace, there has been high call for from early adopters,” he said. “We want to move from the early-adopter section to the mass marketplace, in order to not be an easy transition.”

By the end of May 2024, carmakers had sold 827,000 cars, a 7% growth from 2023. This growth, driven primarily by using commercial enterprise and fleet sales, alerts a sluggish however consistent recuperation for the United Kingdom car industry.


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