UK new car registrations slide in weakest September for over 23 years

FILE PHOTO: Cars are displayed outside a showroom in west London October 4, 2013. REUTERS/Luke MacGregor/File Photo

LONDON (Reuters) -British new car registrations fell last month by 34% year on year to 215,312 units, according to industry data on Tuesday that marked the weakest September for at least 23 years.

The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) said the auto industry continued to be plagued by a global shortage of semiconductors used in the production of cars.

“This is a desperately disappointing September and further evidence of the ongoing impact of the Covid pandemic on the sector,” said SMMT chief executive Mike Hawes.

With widespread panic-buying at the petrol pumps late last month caused by a shortage of goods vehicle drivers, the SMMT said more than 32,000 battery-powered cars were registered last month – a new record.

Hawes said a massive investment in public recharging facilities was needed to keep pace with consumer demand for electric cars.

British licence plates denote the age of a vehicle and update every March and September – meaning these are usually bumper months for car registrations as buyers like to show they have the newest model.

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