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Huge Reduction In New Car Registrations In 2020

February 4, 2021 by mti

It should not come as a surprise to motor traders or many others working in the motor trade industry to read that there has been a significant drop in the number of new cars registered here in the UK in 2020. A major factor for this happening is no doubt due to COVID-19 that has had such an impact on so many things throughout the world.

According to figures published by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), the number of new cars registered last year amounted to 1,631,064 compared to 2,311,140 in 2019. This was a reduction of 680,076 equating to a considerable fall of 29.4%.

The number of private new car sales fell from 1,018,258 in 2019 to 747,507 in 2020 – a drop of 26.6%. The number of fleet new car sales dropped from 1,232,448 in 2019 to 849,309 in 2020 – a fall of 31.1%. The number of business new car sales fell from 60,434 in 2019 to 34,248 in 2020 – a drop of 43.3%.

The number of new diesel car sales fell from 581,774 in 2019 to 261,772 in 2020 – a drop of 55.0%. The number of new petrol car sales fell from 1,482,409 in 2019 to 903,961 in 2020 – a drop of 39.0%.

The sale of various types of electric cars increased when comparing 2019 with 2020 so that was a positive factor.

The top 10 selling new cars in 2020 in the UK were: –

  1. Ford Fiesta                             49,174
  2. Vauxhall Corsa                       46,174
  3. Volkswagen Golf                   43,109
  4. Ford Focus                             39,372
  5. Mercedes-Benz A-Class         37,608
  6. Nissan Qashqai                      33,972
  7. MINI                                      31,233
  8. Volkswagen Polo                   26,965
  9. Ford Puma                             26,294
  10. Volvo XC40                           25,023

It is pleasing to see three Ford models in the top 10 and let us hope that continues.

Whilst writing, it is also interesting to note that the number of new cars manufactured in the UK in 2020 fell. In 2019 there were 1,303,135 new cars built but in 2020 the figure had fallen to 920,928 – a drop of 382,207 and that equates to a reduction of 29.3%. That is the smallest figure since 1984.

There was also a drop in the number of engines manufactured in the UK in 2020. In 2019 there were 2,520,165 engines built compared to 1,840,847 in 2020 – a drop of 679,318 and that equates to a fall of 27.0%.

We are sure that you will agree the above figures are concerning. Let us hope that the pandemic comes to an end as quickly as possible and that the motor trade industry starts to make a recovery. There are other areas of this industry that may well have suffered as well such as manufacturers and suppliers of spare parts for cars and the servicing departments of garages.


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