The UK’s used car market declined in 2020, down -14.9% according to the latest figures released today by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT). 6,752,959 used car transactions took place, 1,182,146 fewer than in 2019, making 2020 the lowest performing year since 2012 as lockdown measures to tackle the coronavirus pandemic and turbulent consumer and business confidence dented sales.
Despite used car transactions increasing 3.7% in October, a fourth consecutive month of growth, the combination of new lockdowns and tougher restrictions across the UK later in the year saw activity tail off, with declines of -18.3% and -4.2% in November and December respectively. Combined Q4 transactions fell by -6.2% to 1,693,138, rounding off a tough year for the sector.
The UK new light commercial vehicle (LCV) market enjoyed growth in the first month of the year, according to the latest figures released by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).
Registrations rose 2.0% in January with 24,029 of the latest, low emission vehicles hitting UK roads as new models and deals drove fleet renewal. Although the fluctuating nature of fleet renewal often impacts the first month of the year in particular, 2021 opened with the highest volume January since 1990, 10.5% ahead of five-year average.1
Although growth is expected for the LCV sector in 2021, SMMT’s latest market outlook has been downgraded to reflect ongoing challenges.
Sales of new cars fell by 39.5% last month compared with January 2020, according to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders.
The figure of 90,249 cars was the industry’s worst start to a year since 1970 as showrooms across the country remained shut due to the coronavirus pandemic.
SMMT chief executive Mike Hawes said: “Following a £20.4 billion loss of revenue last year, the auto industry faces a difficult start to 2021.
“The necessary lockdown will challenge society, the economy and our industry’s ability to move quickly towards our ambitious environmental goals.
“Lifting the shutters will secure jobs, stimulate the essential demand that supports our manufacturing, and will enable us to forge ahead on the road to zero.
“Every day that showrooms can safely open will matter, especially with the critical month of March looming.”
Jaguar Land Rover has reported strong financial results for the three months to December 31, with improved pre-tax profits and its best-ever third quarter cash flow.
The luxury car maker has manufacturing sites in Halewood, Merseyside, and Castle Bromwich and Solihull in the West Midlands.
Retail sales were 128,469 vehicles, up 13.1% on the second quarter, but still nine per cent lower than pre-COVID levels a year ago.
Sales in China were up 20% on the prior quarter and up 19.1% year-on-year. Most other regions were also up on the preceding quarter while down from the prior year third quarter. Sales of the new Land Rover Defender grew to 16,286 units, a 66% increase on the prior quarter.