Auto dealers are struggling to offer customers test drives as the global semiconductor crisis continues to affect supply.
James Fairclough, CEO of AA Cars, said: “Inventory levels for some models are so low that some dealerships are struggling to even offer test drives, let alone fulfill customer orders in under several weeks. “
He warned that “supply problems could get worse before they get better.”
“In recent months, the number of new cars coming off UK production lines has collapsed to its lowest level in October in 65 years,” he said.
“Auto factories in other countries have been similarly affected, as the global semiconductor shortage means vehicle production is held back everywhere.”
His comments follow the latest registration figures for new cars from the Society of Engine Builders and Traders (SMMT).
They show that a total of 115,706 new cars were registered in November 2021, a 1.7% increase from November 2020, when sales were affected by Covid-19 lockdown restrictions.
The demand for electric cars continued to grow, with 21,726 registrations (representing a market share of 18.8%), while Plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) sales increased to 9.3% or 10,796 cars.
However, compared to pre-Covid-19, the overall new car market was down 31.3%.
Mike Hawes, Managing Director of SMMT, said: “The global semiconductor shortage continues to disrupt production and therefore new car registrations.
“The industry is working hard to overcome these issues and fill orders, but the disruption is expected to last until next year, which will compound the need for customers to place orders early.”