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Financial News: UK New Car Registrations Fall Further In October

UK New Car Registrations Fall Further In October - SMMT

11/05/2020 - 11:05:00 (RTTNews)

(RTTNews) - New car sales in the UK fell 1.6 percent in October to 140,945 units and marked a nine-year low for the month, the Society for of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, or SMMT, said Thursday. The Welsh 'firebreak' accounted for more than half of month's losses, ahead of new 'stay at home' order for England, forcing UK showrooms to close in November, the SMMT said.

The introduction of the 'firebreak' lockdown in Wales on October 23 contributed 25.5 percent fewer registrations by the end of the month which was more than half of the overall UK decline. The arrival of new models and ongoing financial incentives helped initially to sustain UK demand in the month, the industry body said. Citing the second lockdown in England, the SMMT downgraded its new car registrations forecast for this year to 1.56 million from 1.66 million. This equates to a year-on-year decline of around 750,000 registrations and a GBP 22.5 billion loss in turnover, with 2020 now likely to be the weakest year since 1982, the SMMT said. The industry is hopeful that the continuation of click & collect and delivery services will help to avoid a repeat of spring's wipe-out. However, car showrooms now face a double hit in the form of reduced winter trading and the challenge of Brexit. "What is not in doubt, however, is that the entire industry now faces an even tougher end to the year as businesses desperately try to manage resources, stock, production and cashflow in the penultimate month before the inevitable upheaval of Brexit," SMMT Chief Executive Mike Hawes said.

"Keeping showrooms open - some of the most Covid-secure retail environments around - would help cushion the blow but, more than ever, we need a tariff-free deal with the EU to provide some much-needed respite for an industry that is resilient but massively challenged."

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