April saw a record 30-fold increase in new car registrations in the UK, Just Auto reports. The artificial rise of 3,177% has been created because the figures were compared with April last year, when car showrooms were shutdown under the lockdown rules. The figures have been released by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).
Despite the 141,583 new registrations completed in April 2021, the volumes were still 12.9% lower than the 10-year average. This could be explained by the fact that for the first half of April, dealerships were only operating on a click and collect basis.
Plug-in vehicles accounted for just over one in eight sales, giving a market share of 13.2%, which is broadly in line with recent trends. The effects of cuts to the Plug-in Car Grant were felt in the market share, as battery electric vehicles (BEVS) accounted for 6.5%, compared with plug-in hybrids (PHVEVS) at 6.8%.
The overall new car registrations for 2021 remain significantly lower than the ten-year average, down by 32.5%. The SMMT is keen to point out that these figures will not include the full impact of car showrooms reopening, as consumers usually don’t make a decision on the purchase of a new car straight away.
The SMMT is taking a more optimistic view of sales for the rest of 2021, revising its forecast upwards from 1.83 million to 1.86 million.
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.’
Best selling models for April 2021 include the Vauxhall Corsa at number one, the Mercedes-Benz A-Class at number two, and the Ford Fiesta in third place.
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