Supply bottlenecks strangle new car sales in Northern Ireland, industry data shows

SUPPLY bottlenecks continue to strangle the performance of northern auto retailers, according to the latest industry data.

Just 3,539 new cars were registered here last month, down 13% from June 2021, according to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).

Sales were only slightly higher than the 3,278 sold in June 2020, when car showrooms were still partially under Covid-19 restrictions.

He made last month one of the worst on record for the industry. Data from SMMT showed dealers sold 1,631 cars less than pre-pandemic levels in June 2019.

Compared to the first six months of 2019, the 21,139 new cars sold in the north this year represent a drop of 9,700 vehicles.

SMMT chief executive Mike Hawes said UK-wide the global shortage of semiconductor microchips is stifling the new car market even more than last year’s lockdown.

“Demand for electric vehicles continues to be the only bright spot as more electric cars hit the road than ever before,” he said.

“But, while this growth is welcome, it is not yet sufficient to compensate for weak overall volumes, which has huge implications for fleet renewal and our ability to meet overall reduction targets. carbon emissions.”

Ulster Bank chief economist Richard Ramsey said the component shortage was made worse by pandemic restrictions in China and the war in Ukraine.

“As a result, delivery times from new car suppliers remain abnormally long,” he said.

“Supply bottlenecks rather than a lack of demand are the main concern for new car dealers in Northern Ireland.”

The total number of new cars sold between January and June 2022 was 1.4% higher than in 2021, but supply constraints mean sales are on track to fall this summer from 2021 levels.

Richard Ramsey said that compared to the pre-covid average over the past 16 years, sales were down nearly 12,000 cars in the first half.

“The disruption to new vehicle production, now well into its third year, is impacting both rental and used car markets,” the economist said.

“Those who rent cars during the summer are sure to notice the price spike that has occurred.

“Prices in these two markets have skyrocketed due to the lack of new supplies. New car sales were once a key barometer of consumer confidence.

“Instead, they are now an indicator of supply chain disruption. Given the economic downturn that now appears to be underway, dealers will likely find that once supply disruptions ease, underlying demand will also soften.

Top 10 new cars sold in Northern Ireland (June 2022)

1 Hyundai Tucson – 114

2 Ford Kuga-111

3 Ford Puma – 111

4 Vauxhall Corsas – 109

5 Volkswagen Golf-88

6 Dacia Sandero-81

7 MG HS-71

8Peugeot 3008-71

9 Ford Ecosport – 70

10 Ford Fiesta – 67