UK new car sales nosedive | Industry - Car News Apr 2020

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20:23 Monday 06 Apr 2020

It will come as no surprise that new figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders have revealed a dramatic slump in the UK new car market as a result of the coronavirus crisis.

The figures paint a start picture of the crisis, with sales down by more than 44% last month despite March being the important plate change month.  With showrooms closed to slow the spread of the virus, 203,0370 fewer new cars were registered compared to March 2019, representing a steeper fall in sales than during the 2009 financial and the worst March figures since the UK switched to twice-annual plate changes in the late 1990s.
With strong sales in early March, the only sectors to record growth were battery electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids.
While showrooms are expected to remain closed for some time, manufacturers and their retailers have adapted to help the national effort against coronavirus.  Keeping key workers mobile is critical, and the industry is striving to keep open enough service and repair workshops to maintain their vehicles, while others have offered free breakdown help to NHS workers.  Community efforts have seen dealerships deploy vehicles to help front-line staff and charities, donate PPE, and turn premises into food banks.


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