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UK Car Sales Decline Sharply As Showrooms Shutdown: SMMT

UK new car sales declined sharply in March as showrooms closed after the outbreak of coronavirus pandemic, data from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, or SMMT, showed Monday.

Car registrations plunged 44.4 percent on a yearly basis. The decline was steeper than during the 2009 financial crisis and the worst March since the late nineties when the market changed to the bi-annual plate change system, the SMMT said.

In March, about 254,684 new cars were registered, with demand from private buyers and larger fleets falling by 40.4 percent and 47.4 percent, respectively.

The lobby downgraded its 2020 outlook to 1.73 million units -23 percent decrease from the previous outlook made in January. This was around 25 percent lower sales than seen in 2019.

“With the country locked down in crisis mode for a large part of March, this decline will come as no surprise,” Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive, said.

“We should not, however, draw long term conclusions from these figures other than this being a stark realisation of what happens when economies grind to a halt,” Hawes added.

How long the market remains stalled is uncertain, but it will reopen and the products will be there, said Hawes.

The material has been provided by InstaForex Company – www.instaforex.com