UK car market faces long climb back to normal, says GlobalData

Following the news that the UK new car market was down 34.9% in June, an improvement on May’s 89% drop, but leaving the first half of the year down 48.5% on the same period of 2019;

David Leggett, Automotive Analyst at GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company, offers his views:

“We have yet to see where real demand will settle and it is still early days in terms of the economic recovery in the UK and elsewhere. The June result is slightly ahead of our expectations and points to a welcome return to business for car retailers.

“However, it will be a long climb back for the industry. GlobalData forecasts that the UK light vehicle (includes light commercial vehicles as well as passenger cars) market in 2020 will be down by 33.2% at 1.85 million units.

“A proportion of the June sales will have come from pre-lockdown orders that have now come through.

“On the plus side, some modal shift away from public transport towards private cars could emerge in the current environment, but prospective buyers could also be holding off from purchase in the expectation that the government may introduce purchase incentives.

“We’ll know much more about where UK new car demand is really settling from the sales trend over the next three months and especially in September, traditionally a big month for retailers in Britain when the registration number plate year identifier changes.”

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