UK car registrations grew strongly in May, mainly due to the base effect as retailers remained closed in the same month last year due to the coronavirus pandemic.
New passenger car sales rose 674.1 percent year-on-year in May to 156,737 units, figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) showed Friday.
The month of May was the first full month of store openings this year.
The latest figure was 14.7 percent less than the pre-pandemic May 2019, and 13.2 percent lower than the 10-year May average.
Despite more positive economic outlook, total registrations over the year to date remain down 29.1 percent lower on the 10-year average, the SMMT said.
Demand for plug-in vehicles continued to rise, and the segment accounted for 13.8 percent of registrations thus far this year. A year earlier, their share was 7.2 percent.
The latest uptake was in line with the most recent industry outlook, published in April, which sees the sector anticipating around 1.86 million registrations by the end of the year – with 723,845 achieved so far, the industry body added.
“Increased business confidence is driving the recovery, something that needs to be maintained and translated in private consumer demand as the economy emerges from pandemic support measures,” SMMT Chief Executive Mike Hawes said.
“Demand for electrified vehicles is helping encourage people into showrooms, but for these technologies to surpass their fossil-fuelled equivalents, a long term strategy for market transition and infrastructure investment is required.”
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