UK new car market down a third

Published:  06 July, 2020

New car sales in June showed an improvement on recent months as dealerships in England opened up, but the longer shutdown of the franchised sector in Wales and Scotland still meant sales were 34.9% lower than last year.

The sales figures for June, released by the SMMT today (Monday 6 July), showed 145,377 registrations taking place during the month. The drop was an improvement on May’s 89.0% fall but, still represented a decline of 78,044 compared with June 2019.

For the year to date, registrations are down 48.5%, with just 653,502 new cars joining British roads in first six months, For such a period, this was the lowest level since 1971.

Commenting on the results, SMMT Chief Executive Mike Hawes said: “While it’s welcome to see demand rise above the rock-bottom levels we saw during lockdown, this is not a recovery and barely a restart. Many of June’s registrations could be attributed to customers finally being able to collect their pre-pandemic orders, and appetite for significant spending remains questionable.”

He added: “The government must boost the economy, help customers feel safer in their jobs and in their spending and give businesses the confidence to invest in their fleets. Otherwise it runs the risk of losing billions more in revenue from this critical sector at a time when the public purse needs it more than ever.”

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