LONDON (Reuters) – British new car registrations fell by an annual 35% in June, the smallest drop since February, as many dealerships reopened after coronavirus lockdown measures were lifted.
A total of 145,377 new cars were registered in June, leaving year-to-date figures down by nearly a half, according to data from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).
Demand fell 44% in March, 97% in April and 89% in May.
Not all British car factories have reopened and many are operating at reduced capacity as manufacturers try to balance demand and supply, facing similar challenges to competitors abroad.
While car showrooms were allowed to reopen from June 1 in England, dealers in Wales and Scotland had to wait until June 22 and June 29 respectively.
“This is not a recovery and barely a restart,” said SMMT Chief Executive Mike Hawes.
“Many of June’s registrations could be attributed to customers finally being able to collect their pre-pandemic orders, and appetite for significant spending remains questionable.”
(Reporting by Costas Pitas and Alistair Smout; Editing by William Schomberg)