New car sales in July could be UP 11 per cent according to industry sources, as car buyers flock to showrooms

Time 2:26 pm, August 3, 2020

New car registrations for July look likely to be up 11 per cent on the year before according to industry sources.

A total of 175,000 cars are believed to have been sold and registered during the month – up from 145,377 in June. July’s figure is an 11.3 per cent rise on the 157,198 registrations recorded for July 2019.

The dramatic rise also saw retail new car sales figures increase by 19 per cent as consumers headed back to the market.

The official numbers are set to be released on Wednesday morning, but Car Dealer has seen preliminary figures. Last month we accurately predicted that June sales would be down 35 per cent.

It was thought that people had been holding off from buying a new car in the hope that an incentive scheme might materialise, as reported by Car Dealer, but that would now appear not to have been the case.

July was the first full month of dealerships in the UK being open and it also saw the first rise in new car sales since December 2019, when 148,997 cars were registered – up 3.4 per cent on December 2018.

Since December 2019, there has been a decline in the new car market: down 7.3 per cent in January and 2.9 per cent in February, then things really took a tumble as the coronavirus struck and showrooms were forced to shut, with a 44.4 per cent drop in March, a whopping 97.3 per cent decline in April, and a 89.0 per cent fall in May.


With showrooms allowed to reopen across the UK throughout June, starting with England on June 1 and ending with Scotland on June 29, that month’s figure of 145,377 was a 34.9  per cent drop, so July’s figure would seem to echo the belief of many that there has been pent-up demand just waiting to be unleashed.

Commenting last month on June’s registrations, ASE Global chairman Mike Jones said: ‘Retailers and their brands are working hard to build demand in Q3 and we should see demand continue to rise as economic activity rises.’

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James Baggott's avatar

James is the founder and editor-in-chief of Car Dealer Magazine, and CEO of parent company Baize Group. James has been a motoring journalist for more than 20 years writing about cars and the car industry.

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