UK lockdown triggers biggest annual drop in car sales since World War 2

06.01.2021 - Petr Mazaylo
UK lockdown triggers biggest annual drop in car sales since World War 2

Britain’s new car sales had a nearly 30% drop, its biggest fall since World War Two, as  COVID-19 restrictions forced the sector to cease operations temporarily, the trade industry reported on Wednesday.

Initial data from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) revealed that car demand was at 1.63 million cars in 2020. During the first full month lockdown in April, the sector posted a 97% fall.

Showrooms in Britain have closed again during a second lockdown in November but many stores went online, introducing “click and collect” options, to allow more purchases, but still leading to a 27% year-on-year slump.

New car sales’ 2020 performance is at their lowest level since 1992, and suffering the biggest fall since 1943.

The SMMT estimates car sales figures to be less than 2 million this year, with the sector remaining shaky heading to one of the top two selling months of the year in March due to the change in the license plate series.

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