UK car sales crash in April on virus lockdown

(AFP) – Britain’s new car sales crashed in April to hit the lowest level since 1946 with many showrooms shut for the coronavirus lockdown, industry data showed today.

New registrations for all cars collapsed by a staggering 97 per cent last month on a yearly basis to about 4,000 vehicles, the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) said in a statement.

That was the worst performance since February 1946 and compared with 161,000 cars in the same month of 2019.

The SMMT added that car showrooms were closed for the lockdown — which was implemented nationwide on March 23 — but some deliveries did take place, particularly for fleets.

The industry organisation meanwhile forecast that around 1.68 million new cars will be registered in 2020, which would mark a 27-per cent slump from last year.