New car registrations fell in April, affected by the COVID-19 emergency, as franchised dealerships’ showrooms remained closed in line with the Government’s guidelines.

New car sales declined by 97.3% in April with 4,321 units registered, according to the latest SMMT new passenger car registration figures. Year to date, the market is down -43.4%. In April, fleet orders took a market share of 71.5%. Year to date, sales of battery electric vehicles and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles remain above last year’s levels respectively by +161.1% and +31.0%.

Despite these figures, many franchised dealers continued to deliver aftersales service to key workers and the industry is now working hard to enable trading to restart with all necessary measures in place.

NFDA has been talking to the relevant Government departments and manufacturers to ensure work can commence safely for the benefit of dealerships’ staff and customers.

Over the coming months, it will be vital to evaluate a support package that stimulates the market and ensures the long-term stability of a sector which is key to the UK economy and provides employment to thousands of people.