A spirited increase in car sales performance during July has brought a welcome respite to the industry but is it here to last?
While the re-opening of car sales showrooms in June, following the coronavirus lock-down during the previous three months of March, April and May when there were an estimated quarter of a million lost sales, brought some relief to car motor dealers but the upswing might just be a one-off monthly surge in achievement.
Car sales to date this year until July were running at just 58 per cent of the previous year 2019 quantity with a total 30 percent predicted fall for this year 2020. And there’s the predictably quiet month of August on the horizon as many buyers in the market normally wait for the September registration plate change.
In addition, the last three years have recorded slower car sales in general which has been attributed to consumer caution because of a lack of confidence over the uncertainties surrounding Brexit. These factors and the pandemic have led to unease in the trade with car manufacturing factory slowdowns and job loses.
Although the Society of Motor Manufactures and Traders (SMMT) have estimated an increase in July sales up by 11 percent from the previous year, they are being cautious about an upturn and are, therefore, awaiting clearer data by the end of September and the impact that there could be in the event of further lock-downs due to an upsurge in coronavirus outbreaks and further job loses affecting the economy.
Sadly, it’s an unpredictable time for car sales with a distinct lack of confidence from consumer demand and unknown pandemic health factors, and unfortunately the old cliche remains true for let’s wait and see if car sales have already peaked or there’s some hope on the horizon over the rest of the summer months.