Vehicle sales plunge 40% in United Kingdom as coronavirus hits

March registrations total 2004 to 2020 courtesy of the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders

Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive, said: "With the country locked down in crisis mode for a large part of March, this decline will come as no surprise".

"How long the market remains stalled is uncertain, but it will re-open and the products will be there".

"Such a dramatic decline in registrations is proof that COVID-19 will ricochet through the industry for weeks and months ahead", said Karen Hilton, chief commercial officer of vehicle buying website heycar.

The figures also reveal the impact that lockdown procedures have had on other countries' new auto markets. In total, 6,818 were registered last month.

With 203,370 fewer cars registered last month versus March 2019, it was actually the worst March for sales since the late nineties, the SMMT said.

The figures, due out at 0900, are expected to show a drop of more than 40% compared with a year ago.

That means battery-electric cars overtook plug-in hybrids in popularity, with PHEVs seeing a more modest 38 per cent increase in sales. In the first half of the month we see the impact of the new '20 United Kingdom license plates in an environment of heightened consumer confidence and dealer optimism - March usually drives sales in H1.

They fell to the lowest level seen in March for more than two decades.

Michael Woodward, Deloitte's head of automotive, said: "The industry is beginning to introduce flexible measures around payments to protect the interests of consumers".

Sue Robinson, director of the National Franchised Dealers Association (NFDA), said it remained "crucial that the Government continues to support businesses in the automotive sector, one that employs over 590,000 people and is a key contributor to the United Kingdom economy".

"In the second half though we see the effects of Covid-19 and the United Kingdom lockdown on the motor industry".

Carwow chief executive, James Hind, believes that there are signs that the vehicle retail sector remains more positive than March's dramatic shift into sales lockdown indicated by the SMMT data might suggest, meanwhile.

"It will be the used vehicle market that bounces back quicker with more buyers looking for reliable used or almost new models, and cars being returned from PCP agreements and part-exchanges entering back into the market".

It is a popular time to buy because it is one of two occasions when new number plates are released.



Latest news

Canada says United States blocked delivery of three million masks
Of the total number of lab-confirmed cases in the province, 47.3 per cent of the patients have been male and 52.2 per cent female.

WhatsApp limits message forwards to one chat at a time
We know many users forward helpful information, as well as amusing videos, memes, and reflections or prayers they find meaningful. WhatsApp says their previous test on limiting forwarded messages led to a 25% decrease in message forwards globally.

Hydroxychloroquine: India agrees to release unproven 'corona drug'
Fauci said on CBS' Face the Nation earlier on Sunday, "In terms of science, I don't think we can definitely say it works".

Rodrigo Duterte Says,Philippines Extends COVID-19 Lockdown Until April 30
As of April 5, the Philippines had 3,246 confirmed cases of COVID-10, with 152 deaths . "Right now, wala pang need". The national government has allocated about P600 billion for COVID-19 response fund.

Queen Elizabeth II: ‘better days will return’ after coronavirus
She ended her four-minute address by saying in part, "We will get through this, we will meet again ". Queen Elizabeth II addresses the nation of Great Britain over the coronavirus pandemic .

Other news