UK car sales drop 27% due to COVID-19, lowest since 2008

Carmakers in the United Kingdom recorded the lowest number of sales ever in the month of November since 2008 as car registrations dropped by 27 percent from a year ago period sales of 113,781 cars, data from the Society of Motors Manufacturers and Traders suggests.

This is the steepest fall recorded after the 35 percent surge in sales in June earlier this year and. This is the lowest drop in car sales since 2008 as COVID-19 induced lockdowns forced the car dealership to shut down for a prolonged period of time.

England had imposed a four-week lockdown that had a huge impact on the overall economy and had shut down every non-essential stores after a surge in infections put the entire health-care system at risk. Other regions of the UK, including Wales and Scotland, imposed similar measures.

“Compared with the spring lockdown, manufacturers, dealers and consumers were all better prepared to adjust to constrained trading conditions. More positively, with a vaccine now approved, the business and consumer confidence on which this sector depends can only improve, giving the industry more optimism for the turn of the year,” Mike Hawes, SMMT’s chief executive officer, said in a statement.

The car industry is bracing itself for Brexit, which is the country’s exit from the European Union. The negotiators are so far unable to reach a deal to put-off the levying of tariffs on vehicles and parts. Sales of cars have dropped about 31 percent in the first 11 months as per the SMMT data.