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Financial News: UK Car Sales Plunge In January: SMMT

UK Car Sales Plunge In January: SMMT

02/04/2021 - 05:42:00 (RTTNews)

(RTTNews) - UK car sales declined sharply in January as showrooms across the country remained shut, leading to the worst start to the year since 1970, the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders said Thursday.

Car sales fell 39.5 percent year-on-year to 90,249 units in January. With lockdown restrictions in place until March, the most important month of the year, which accounts for one in five new car registrations on average, the industry will face a challenging year as showroom closures depressed consumer demand.

Citing the current lockdown, the lobby downgraded its market outlook for 2021 to 1.9 million. The forecast does represent an increase of 15.7 percent compared to 2020's 'lost year' but it would still be a very subdued market in historical terms.

"Following a GBP 20.4 billion loss of revenue last year, the auto industry faces a difficult start to 2021," Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive, said. "Lifting the shutters will secure jobs, stimulate the essential demand that supports our manufacturing, and will enable us to forge ahead on the Road to Zero."

Further, the latest SMMT analysis showed that 2020 recorded the largest ever fall in average car CO2 emissions, spurred on by increased uptake of battery electric vehicle, plug-in hybrid vehicles and hybrid electric vehicles.

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