UK new car registrations drop 97% in April due to virus

UK new car registrations drop 97% in April due to virus

New car sales in the UK dipped by 97.3% year-on-year in April due to the imposed lockdown to fight the spread of the novel coronavirus. According to Autocar, just 4,321 cars were sold last month (versus 161,064 units last year), the lowest number in Britain since 1946, or after World War II.

The CEO for Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) said these figures aren’t surprising, since car dealerships were forced to close through the month. Out of the 4,321 cars sold, 71.5% of which were fleet orders that may have been purchased prior to the lockdown, and bulk of the deliveries was used to support key workers. Only 871 cars were shipped to private buyers.

With that, Britain’s industry body has revised its vehicle sales forecast down to 1.68 million units for the whole of 2020, compared with 2.3 million in 2019. Other European countries also experience a similar collapse – sales in France fell by 88.8% year-on-year in April, while Italy saw numbers plunge by 97.5%.

In April, the Tesla Model 3 was the best-selling vehicle in Britain with 658 units sold, nearly doubling runner-up Jaguar I-Pace with 367 units. The new Vauxhall Corsa was third with 264 registrations. The government is now in talks with dealers for the resumption of business, and as of now the tentative date is May 11.

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Matthew H Tong

An ardent believer that fun cars need not be fast and fast cars may not always be fun. Matt advocates the purity and simplicity of manually swapping cogs while coping in silence of its impending doom. Matt's not hot. Never hot.



  • Celup King on May 06, 2020 at 11:03 am

    Habislah UK! Better sell off to China.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 2
  • vivizurianti on May 06, 2020 at 11:22 am

    Worldwide pandemic, lockdown, loss of jobs/layoff, unemployment rate climbing, closing of business, economy downturn, soaring cost of living, corruption/failure of govt, currency lost value, high cost of hospitalization, etc

    Even filthy rich oil shiekhs in Middle East are tightening their belt.

    Now, who would buy new car as such moment?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 2

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