Market suffers £1.3 billion revenue hit with 42,840 fewer new cars joining British roads last month
The UK new car market again saw a decline last month as registrations in November fell 27.4 per cent year-on-year, according to the latest figures published by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).
In a month when showrooms across England had to close due to new lockdown restrictions, the industry recorded 113,781 new registrations, taking trade back to levels last seen during the 2008 recession.
The decline was less severe than that seen during the first lockdown – when registrations fell by a record 97.3 per cent in April alone – largely because retailers and manufacturers were able to be better prepared to fulfil orders via delivery or click and collect.
Despite these innovations, private demand still fell by 32.2 per cent while registrations by large fleets saw a decline of 22.1 per cent.
More positively, market share for battery electric vehicles (BEVs) and plug-in hybrid vehicles (PHEVs) continued to grow significantly, up 122.4 per cent and 76.9 per cent respectively.
BEVs recorded their third highest ever monthly share of registrations at 9.1 per cent, while PHEV share increased to 6.8 per cent – a combined total of more than 18,000 new zero-emission capable cars joining Britain’s roads.
Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive said: “Compared with the spring lockdown, manufacturers, dealers and consumers were all better prepared to adjust to constrained trading conditions.
“But with £1.3 billion worth of new car revenue lost in November alone, the importance of showroom trading to the UK economy is evident and we must ensure they remain open in any future Covid restrictions.
“More positively, with a vaccine now approved, the business and consumer confidence on which this sector depends can only improve, giving the industry more optimism for the turn of the year.”