Press releases

Deloitte comments on SMMT new car registration figures

6 April 2020

Michael Woodward, UK automotive lead, Deloitte, said:

“With the first 2020 registration plates released in March, the industry may have hoped for a bumper month for new car sales. However, COVID-19 pressures in the second half of the month have driven sales down by over 40%, leading to the lowest March sales for over two decades.

“Despite this, it is positive to see that alternatively fuelled vehicles continued their surge in the first half of the month, with battery electric vehicles in particular achieving five per cent market share.

“Like almost every other industry, COVID-19 has had a significant impact on UK automotive. Since the outbreak began, supply chains globally have been under increasing pressure and, following the UK’s current lockdown restrictions, dealerships have now closed their doors and manufacturers halted production.

“The safety of workers, dealers and consumers remains paramount, and a return to ‘business as usual’ unclear. As a result, everyone from manufacturers to dealers will be asking themselves how they can respond to demand when we emerge from the current situation. A number of dealers have already moved their interactions online, and the ability to support this will become imperative in the longer term.

“During this period of economic uncertainty, the industry is beginning to introduce flexible measures around payments to protect the interests of consumers. These include contract extensions, payment deferrals, interim loans and refinancing packages.

“In addition to supporting consumers, many across the automotive industry have also come together to serve the national interest; be it redirecting factory resources to support ventilator production or donating vehicles for the distribution of food and medical supplies. We should all be proud of the way the automotive industry have come together to meet this challenge head-on.”


Notes to editors

About Deloitte
In this press release references to “Deloitte” are references to one or more of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited (“DTTL”) a UK private company limited by guarantee, and its network of member firms, each of which is a legally separate and independent entity.

Please see for a detailed description of the legal structure of DTTL and its member firms.

Deloitte LLP is a subsidiary of Deloitte NSE LLP, which is a member firm of DTTL, and is among the UK's leading professional services firms.

The information contained in this press release is correct at the time of going to press.

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