Britain’s new car sales crashed in April to hit the lowest level since 1946, mirroring falls across Europe, with many showrooms shut for the coronavirus lockdown, industry data showed Tuesday.
New registrations for all cars collapsed by a “precipitous” 97 percent last month on a yearly basis to just 4,321 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.
It added that car showrooms were closed for Britain’s lockdown — which was implemented nationwide on March 23 — but some deliveries did take place for key workers and front-line public services and companies.
The group meanwhile forecast that around 1.68 million new cars will be registered in 2020, which would mark a 27-percent slump from last year.
And it called for car retailers to be in the first wave of re-openings, when the lockdown starts to be lifted, in order to kick-start economic recovery.