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While the motor industry has seen a sharp decline in sales during the coronavirus lockdown, plans to help stimulate the market might be unnecessary, according to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders.

SMMT chief executive Mike Hawes said that there were positive signs since the restrictions have been lifted. Plans like the scrappage scheme in 2010 have been considered by the Government to help kickstart the industry, however they might not be needed following the initial boost to the sector.

It was also hinted that any car buying incentive plan wouldn’t take the form of any previous schemes, with suggestions that a scheme just promoting EVs was unlikely because of the minimal impact it might have on the industry.

The statement comes following the release of the latest automotive production figures which shows UK car production has declined by 42.8 per cent in the first half of the year, with more than 11,000 jobs going during the crisis.

Not only that, but sales figures have shown that new car registrations fell by nearly 50 per cent in the first six months of 2020, with huge declines seen in April and May while dealers remained closed. However it’s expected that sales will be up on previous years for July, when figures are revealed next week.

The boost in sales has largely been attributed to customers who were looking to purchase prior to lockdown now being in a stronger position to buy, in some cases spending more on their next car purchase.

Hawes told Autocar: “There are positive signs, and we’ll see the final figures next month, but of course it is a long way from showing that the market has recovered.

“What I believe Government rightly wants to see before taking any decisions is the true picture; we’ve had a freezing of the market, now we have an unlocking – but the really crucial period will be up to the plate change in September and then into the fourth quarter.”

 

 

 

Ted Welford

By

July 30, 2020

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