Demand for new cars dropped by about 90% last month when the coronavirus lockdown hit sales.

Only about 20,000 new cars were registered in May compared to more than 180,000 in the same month in 2019, according to preliminary figures released by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).

The SMMT recently predicted that by 2020, approximately 1.68 million new cars will be registered, representing a decline of 27% compared to last year.

Car showrooms in the UK were closed for mid-May, but limited deliveries of new cars could take place.

They can reopen in the UK since Monday, as long as they meet the & # 39; guidelines of & # 39; e coronavirus to protect customers and workers.

Ian Plummer, commercial director at online auto market Auto Trader, said there is "a lot of growing demand" from car buyers, and it creates an "enormous opportunity for the sector to help start the broader economy of the country".

He added that retailers have worked hard to show consumers that their sites are following new hygiene guidelines "to confirm the confidence that if they are a front, it is safe to do so".

The Guardian reported Wednesday that the SMMT has been in talks with the government over a possible £ 1.5 billion scrapping scheme that would take £ 2,500 from the & # 39; price of a new car to boost the market.

Andrea Lee, manager of clean air campaigns for environmental advocates ClientEarth, said money from taxpayers should be used to convert low-income and small business people to cleaner forms of transportation.

"Subsidies that keep fossil burning cars on roads have no place in creating a healthier and more honest future for the UK," she added.

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