Continued demand adds pressure to new vehicle availability

Northvolt is building its lithium-ion battery cells in northern Sweden.

Northvolt is building its lithium-ion battery cells in northern Sweden - Credit: Northvolt

Following the recovery in May, the first full month of trading this year, June has continued the trend and as a result stocks are at low levels and choice of some models is now very limited.

If you know exactly what you want and want to place an order you could be waiting until next year to see your purchase.

Commercial vehicle sales have been running at extremely high levels for some months and they have been less effected than cars as many buyers are business users and regularly purchase over the telephone.

The growth of online sales of many products has necessitated new and different transport solutions which has caused several manufacturers to run out of stocks as the semi-conductor shortage affects production.

By the end of this month unsold Ford Transit stocks will be at virtually zero levels and dealers are hoping they will be able to supply popular models by the end of September.

It’s not just Ford who have been affected, Volkswagen, Mercedes and Peugeot have been shutting factories as they wait for stocks of semi-conductors to finish vans. 

The new car position is at least a little better but most dealers are running out of the most popular lines.

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It is now evident the problem is worse than first thought and although many actions are underway to source new supplies, 2021’s new vehicle market will be adversely affected. 

If you know you are going to change your car or van, or may need to increase your business fleet, it makes sense to order now and ask your dealer to allow you to cancel your order if it arrives too early or you no longer need it. Many will be pleased to help. 

Used car and van sales are running at record levels and dealers like ourselves are regularly buying in stock to meet the demand which is no longer being satisfied by part-exchanges against new vehicles.

Prices continue to rise but will peak so this could be a great time to place your order and fix your part-exchange allowance. 

Meanwhile, the Government is insisting we must all do more to increase the sales of electric vehicles and are looking at grants to build giga-factories in Britain to produce and recycle batteries to compete with European rivals and keep car production in the UK.

In northern Sweden close to the Arctic Circle, two former Tesla executives are behind the building of a giant electric factory to produce high volumes of the lithium-ion battery cells and are hoping to provide 25 per cent of Europe’s batteries.

They have already received a 14 billion order from Volkswagen.

The Government and private industry are stepping up the infrastructure with larger capacity and faster charging units to meet the demand.

These will appear at services, adjacent to petrol stations, at supermarkets and retail parks as well as at places of work, to encourage an earlier change to electric vehicles and the meeting of the 2030 deadline.

At the same time, there is still uncertainty about the pandemic. Will there be another wave? Will there be further delays before more controls are released? Will we be wearing masks for the foreseeable future in public areas? 

Please stay safe and keep smiling and I look forward to better news next week.