UK new car sales fall to lowest July level since 1998

FILE PHOTO: New cars are parked at a dockyard in Grimsby, northern England, January 30, 2009. REUTERS/Nigel Roddis/File Photo

LONDON (Reuters) – British new car sales fell by around an annual 30% to their lowest July level since 1998 as the ‘pingdemic’ of people self-isolating alongside supply shortages hit demand, according to preliminary data from an industry body.

Whilst July 2020 was boosted by being the first full month dealerships were open across Britain after the initial lockdown, this year was hit by a lack of semi-conductors and people having to self-isolate due to catching COVID-19 or being in contact with someone who had.

Roughly 122,000 vehicles were registered last month, according to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), which said it is marginally downgrading its full-year forecast to 1.82 million cars.

The SMMT will publish final figures for the month at 0900 BST on Thursday.

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