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UK car sales rise by a quarter as industry recovers from chip shortage

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The number of cars sold in the UK increased by 26% year on year in February, the seventh successive month of growth as the industry recovers from the depths of the global computer chips shortage.UK new car registrations rose by 26.2% in February to 74,400, according to data published on Monday by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), a lobby group.The market was down by only 6.5% compared with February 2020, the last month before the UK started coronavirus pandemic lockdowns.The car industry in the UK and around the world has been dragged back by supply chain issues, with computer chips a particular problem after the disruption caused by the pandemic.

That has prevented carmakers from meeting the resilient demand for new vehicles.Chip shortages may also have slowed the transition to electric vehicles with no exhaust emissions, amid signs of continued strong demand after a record year.

Battery electric vehicles accounted for 16.5% of registrations in February, with 12,300 sold, although only one, the Tesla Model Y crossover, made the top 10 bestsellers in the month.

The bestseller overall was the Vauxhall Corsa.February is generally a quiet month for car sales in the UK, as in March the government issues new number plates that can help cars keep secondhand value for longer.

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