At the same time that the coronavirus lockdown closed car showrooms, the UK new car market fell 89 per cent in May, with just over 20,000 vehicles delivered. However, the adoption of ‘click and collect’-style online ordering was one ray of light. Still, according to the SMMT data, in May 2020 the overall UK new car market was 163,477 units behind the same month last year. And therefore, the market is down more than 51 per cent in the first five months.
The National Franchised Dealers Association (NFDA) is pleased that car showrooms can reopen from today (1st June) in England if they meet the COVID-19 guidelines to protect staff and customers. Franchised dealers have been working hard to prepare their premises in line with the Government and industry guidelines to ensure the safety of staff and customers when reopening.
While UK car manufacturing is beginning to reopen production lines after producing just 197 units in April, Andrew Burn, partner and head of Automotive at KPMG, said the road ahead is far from clear, despite the UK’s car dealerships being given the green light to open. Export markets, uncertainty about demand, and the challenge of cross-border supply chains all provide significant headwinds for the country’s car makers.
Only 15 units ran off UK commercial vehicle (CV) production lines in April, -99.3 down year-on-year.The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders’ (SMMT) chief executive, Mike Hawes said that while unsurprising, the figures “illustrate the incredible challenge facing the UK commercial vehicle sector” as a result of the Coronavirus lockdown.
April car production was basically non-existant in the UK. The country’s output for the month was the lowest since the Second World War, down -99.7 per cent, according to Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) figures. The coronavirus lockdown forced plants to close, meaning just 197 premium, luxury and sports cars left factory gates in the month. These were models that had been assembled prior to shutdowns with only finishing touches needed.
Heavy goods vehicle (HGV) registrations fell -22.5 per cent in the first quarter of 2020, with 9,193 units registered, according to Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) figures. Fluctuations in the sector’s naturally long fleet renewal cycle, together with lockdown measures introduced partway through March affected HGV registrations, rounding off the first three months of the year down some 2,666 units.
At the same time that the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), Independent Garage Association (IGA) and Institute of the Motor Industry (IMI) published post-lockdown garage reopening advice, they also echoed earlier calls from the tyre aftermarket business to support MOT tests.
The Garage Equipment Association (GEA), Independent Automotive Aftermarket Federation (IAAF), the Institute of the Motor Industry (IMI), the Scottish Motor Trade Association (SMTA) and the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders Ltd (SMMT) have published a best practice guide outlining the necessary steps for garages exiting lockdown.
Dismal new car registration figures in April conceal a milestone for the UK motoring public – for the first time ever, an all-electric model topped the passenger vehicle sales charts. But when it comes to overall new registrations, top of the heap during the month was a van.
3,387 new light commercial vehicles were registered in the UK in April, 21,217 fewer than in the same month last year. The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) figures show that the market declined -86.2 per cent in the month as nearly all registrations stopped due to coronavirus lockdowns.
Paul Heard has been appointed the new Chief Executive of SMMT Industry Forum. Heard was formerly President of Automotive Tier 1 supplier Futaba UK and has worked for more than 20 years in management and consultancy roles at companies including EV Cargo, QT Consulting, Futaba subsidiaries and Tenneco Automotive. He has a track record of leading multi-million pound businesses within complex supply chain ecosystems and a wealth of experience delivering successful business transformation programmes across multiple sectors.
Although UK monthly new car registrations in April were lower than since the days of postwar petrol rationing, there is at least some optimism that the automotive industry will benefit from one aspect of the COVID-19 crisis. With social distancing and fear of contagion part of the ‘new normal’, mistrustful commuters may shun public transport in favour of private cars.
Figures published today by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) show that UK new car registrations plummeted 97.3 per cent year-on-year in April. This marks a record low for the new car market as the coronavirus pandemic forced the nation into lockdown for the entire month, with showrooms closed and car buyers housebound.
Extinction Rebellion has issued a threat against car dealers, car manufacturers and car firms in Bristol and London today (Friday 1 May). The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) has seen a leaked document issuing the threat, with London and Bristol being named as targets. It is unclear what the threat involves, but at a low level will simply be campaigning outside car dealers. The worry is that expensive vehicles may get damaged. Although only London and Bristol were named specifically, it is thought that other luxury car brands may be targeted nationwide, although no detail of this was released.
Analysts have warned that the dire effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on car production are not fully reflected in the March figures, released today by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders. Andrew Burn, partner and head of automotive at KPMG UK said that while the March data shows that conditions were difficult, April’s numbers will show the full extent of the effects of the UK lockdown on the sector.