New car sales fall by 13 per cent in April


New car registrations fell by 12.9 per cent in April compared with pre-pandemic levels, new figures released today show. 

In total, 141,583 units were registered during the month, according to data revealed by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT). The registrations were 12.9 per cent lower than the average seen before the pandemic, in the period between 2010 and 2019. 

Though last month’s figures represented a 30-fold increase on April 2020 when just 4,321 cars were registered, this comparison is skewed as a result of showrooms being forced to close during lockdown restrictions a year ago. 

Retail demand saw a significant boost, rising from just 871 registrations last April to 61,935 this year. 

That said, April’s consumer registrations were still down 14.5 per cent on the 10-year average. 

Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive, said: "After one of the darkest years in automotive history, there is light at the end of the tunnel.

"A full recovery for the sector is still some way off, but with showrooms open and consumers able to test drive the latest, cleanest models, the industry can begin to rebuild.

"Market confidence is improving, and we now expect to finish the year in a slightly better position than anticipated in February, largely thanks to the more upbeat business and consumer confidence created by the successful vaccine rollout.

"That confidence should also translate into another record year for electric vehicles, which will likely account for more than one in seven new car registrations."

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