British new car sales fell close to 30% last year in their biggest annual drop since 1943 as lockdowns to curb the spread of the coronavirus hit the sector,an industry body said.
Demand stood at 1.63 million cars in 2020, according to data from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT). It was particularly hard hit by a 97% fall in April, the first full month of a national lockdown.
Dealerships gradually reopened in June. “We lost nearly three quarters of a million units over three or four months, which we never got back,” said SMMT CEO Mike Hawes.