Home > Auto > News > UK new car sales fall to levels last seen in post World War II months

British new car sales slumped by around 97% in April to the lowest level of any month since February 1946 with factories and dealerships shut due to the coronavirus outbreak, according to preliminary data from an industry body.

Lockdown measures have been in place across Europe since mid-March to contain the pandemic, leading to the closure of many businesses and limiting people's movements.

(Also read: Indian car makers have a month like never before)

In February 1946, just a few months after the end of World War Two, just 4,044 new cars were sold in Britain, which was still undergoing rationing and trying to rebuild after wartime destruction, under its first majority Labour government.

As auto dealerships remained closed and factories shuttered due to lockdowns around the globe, the auto industry worldwide has suffered.
As auto dealerships remained closed and factories shuttered due to lockdowns around the globe, the auto industry worldwide has suffered.

(Also read: Coronavirus slashes UK car output as industry warns of big hit)

Last month, around 4,000 cars were registered with most of the sales being fleet purchases, according to preliminary data from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).

It further downgraded its full-year forecast to 1.68 million registrations compared with last year's total of 2.31 million cars.

The SMMT will publish its final figures at 0800 GMT on Tuesday.

This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text. Only the headline has been changed.

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