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Test drives a “struggle” as the shortage of new cars continues | Industry – Car News Dec 2021

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

James Fairclough, CEO of AA Cars, said, “Inventories of certain models are so low that some dealers even have difficulty offering test drives, let alone fulfilling customer orders in less than weeks.”

He warned that “supply problems could get worse before they get better”.

“In the past few months the number of new cars rolling off the assembly line in the UK has plummeted to its lowest October level in 65 years,” he said.

“Car factories in other countries are similarly affected, as the global shortage of semiconductors means that vehicle production is being held back everywhere.”

His comments follow the latest new car registration numbers from the Society of Engine Manufacturers and Dealers (SMMT).

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

The demand for electric cars continued to rise with 21,726 registrations (a market share of 18.8 percent), while Sales of plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEV) rose to 9.3 percent or 10,796 cars.

Compared to pre-Covid-19, however, the new car market declined by 31.3 percent overall.

Mike Hawes, CEO of SMMT, said: “The global shortage of semiconductors continues to affect the production and thus the registrations of automobiles.

“The industry is working hard to resolve these issues and fulfill orders, but the disruption is likely to persist into next year, increasing the need for customers to place orders early.”


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