Motor Trade Insurance

March Sees Huge Drop In New Car Sales

April 9, 2020 by Logan Biggs

Motor traders will be aware that March is usually a great month for new car sales due to the new number plates coming out. However, March 2020 has been a terrible month for the number of new car registrations according to figures published by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) due to the coronavirus having a dramatic impact throughout the UK.

In March of this year, the number of new car registrations amounted to 254,684 whereas in the same month of 2019 there were 458,054 new cars registered. That is a huge fall of 44.4%.

The sale of new cars in the private sector fell from 222,118 in March 2019 to 132,281 in March 2020 โ€“ a fall of 40.4%. The sale of new cars in the fleet sector dropped from 223,480 in March 2019 to 117,557 in the same month this year โ€“ a fall of 47.4%. The sale of new cars to the business sector dropped from 12,456 in March last year to 4,846 in March of this year โ€“ a reduction of 61.1%.

This is something that the motor trade industry could do without. It could be quite some time before things improve and it will be interesting to see how the coronavirus will impact upon the motor trade industry in the coming months. Who knows, it could result in a number of businesses involved in the motor trade industry ceasing to trade.

On a year to date basis to March 2020, the number of new cars registered amounted to 483,557 whereas in March 2019 the figure was 701,036. That is a drop of 31.0%.

In March 2020, the market share for new diesel fuelled cars amounted to 17.6% whereas in March 2019 the figure was 25.7%. That is a drop of 8.1%. The market share for petrol fuelled cars in March 2020 amounted to 60.1% whereas in March 2019 the figure was 66.6%. That is a drop of 6.5%.

The top 5 selling new cars in March 2020 were: –

  1. Volkswagen Golf                    7,103
  2. Ford Fiesta                              6,687
  3. MINI                                       6,019
  4. Ford Focus                              5,985
  5. Nissan Qashqai                       5,907

The above poor performance is hardly surprising in view of the current coronavirus outbreak that is having a terrible impact in almost every country around the world. The UK motor trade industry has been hit hard but we have faired better than some of our European neighbours. For instance, Spain has seen a drop in new car sales of 69%, France a fall of 72% and Italy a huge reduction of 85%.

Let us hope that it not many months before motor traders see an improvement in the number of new cars that they are selling. We will continue to keep our readers up to date with developments in this respect.

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