New car registrations in 2021 disappoint but electric cars take off

Torbay Weekly

More electric cars were registered in 2021 than the previous five years combined.

One quarter of the new cars are electrified in some form.

However, 20 per cent of all electric sales were in the London area compared with only 10 per cent in Wales and Northern England.

The SMMT has said much more investment is needed in the charging infrastructure, particularly on street charging, and it needs to be affordable and easy.

Only 1.65 million cars were registered in 2021 – a marginal increase on 2020 – but 28 per cent down on the pre-pandemic level.

This was due to a shortage of semi-conductors (computer chips).

The modern car uses between 1,500 and 3,000 of these and for a number of reasons availability was severely restricted.

There was also increased competition from the consumer electronics industry and some manufacturers are forecasting this shortage will continue throughout 2022.

Ford were knocked off the number one spot for the first time for over 50 years by Volkswagen and the best-selling Ford Fiesta lost the individual car spot to the Vauxhall Corsa.

The big winners were Korean brands Hyundai and Kia who both sold in excess of 20,000 more cars as a result of better supply, whereas Ford used their supply of semi-conductors to increase their commercial vehicle sales and outsell their three nearest competitors combined.

Tesla also made its mark with the Tesla 3 electric model reaching best-selling car in some months as a business users took advantage of the tax benefits of running an electric car.

What will 2022 bring?

Ford will be keen to recapture number one spot with its new Fiesta model, due to arrive in dealers’ showrooms shortly, as well as a sharper looking Focus with improved infotainment using a new 12.3-inch screen linked to Ford’s latest Sync 4 operating system.

All models including the Focus S.T. and Focus Active have improvements added.

The newly formed Stellantis group which includes Peugeot, Citroen, Vauxhall and Fiat in their portfolio has a range of new models.

Citroen has three new models... the D.S.4 - a model that will attract the premium hatch back and crossover markets, the D.S.9 - a big saloon with distinctive looks to rival such vehicles as the Audi A6 and, finally, the C5X, another big car that would pass for a SUV or estate, with a hydraulic cushion suspension setup.

The Peugeot 308 is another new offering with all new looks, offering petrol, diesel and plug-in hybrid powertrains from launch.

The 222 bhp PHEV is likely to be the most popular choice.

In the Vauxhall range, look out for the new Astra, a totally different looking car to the current model.

The Astra has been a best seller and now shares the same platform as the Peugeot 308 giving Vauxhall owners something to look forward to.

On the electric front Tesla will introduce their new Model Y SUV, a rework of the model 3 which will challenge the competition and no doubt, add to Tesla’s success.

Also, the new Cupra Born, a sportier version of the ID3 with a 58kWh battery with a top of the range 231 bhp variant coming later in the year.

We will look at some other new entrants next week.

In the meantime, keep safe and keep smiling.