UK new car registrations up 4.6% in September on EV sales

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Vehicles sitting in traffic approach the Blackwall Tunnel, in London

(Reuters) -Demand for electric vehicles helped drive a 4.6% rise in Britain’s new car registrations in September, according to industry data released on Wednesday.

The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) said registrations during the month rose to 225,269 units from 215,312 units a year earlier, but still remained 34.4% below pre-pandemic levels.

The auto market has been reeling from a cost-of-living squeeze in Britain and the impact of persisting chip shortages across the globe.

“The overall market remains weak, however, as supply chain issues continue to constrain model availability,” SMMT Chief Executive Officer Mike Hawes said.

“Whilst the industry is working hard to address these issues, the long-term recovery of the market also depends on robust consumer confidence and economic stability,” Hawes added.

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Monthly volume of battery electric vehicle registrations rose 16.5% in September, although SMMT sees slower growth for the segment compared with the start of the year.

(Reporting by Sinchita Mitra and Muhammed Husain in Bengaluru; Editing by Krishna Chandra Eluri and Anil D’Silva)