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New car market grows for eighth month in a row


The UK automotive sector continued its post-pandemic recovery with an eighth successive month of growing new car registrations.

March is a critical month for the automotive sector because it is when cars start getting the much-prized new registration plate. Compared to March last year, new registrations in this month in 2023 grew by 18.2%, making it the most lucrative new-plate month since the COVID-19 pandemic. Some 287,825 units were delivered in March, taking the total for the first quarter of 2023 to just under 500,000 cars with a value of £2.7 billion.

The chief executive of the SMMT, Mike Hawes, said that consumers and the industry will be given confidence by the figures, seeing as March generally gives an indication of how the industry will perform for the remainder of the year. He added:

“With eight consecutive months of growth, the automotive industry is recovering, bucking wider trends and supporting economic growth. The best month ever for zero emission vehicles is reflective of increased consumer choice and improved availability but if EV market ambitions—and regulation—are to be met, infrastructure investment must catch up.”

Electric vehicles are growing in popularity, and this has been reflected in brands like Castrol and Shell launching specialised coolant, grease, and lubricant ranges to meet the specific needs of electric vehicles. While petrol-powered cars, including mild hybrids, made up more than half of new registrations in March, about one in three vehicles were electrified in some way thanks to a 34.3% increase in hybrid electric vehicles.

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