Worst May for car sales since 1952. But sales of Battery Electric Vehicles increase

Salesman selling a green carNew figures from the SMMT trade body state only 20,000 new cars were registered in May – down 89% year-on-year – in the worst May performance since 1952. The new figures are only a slight improvement on April’s record 97% collapse.

Last month’s new registrations of 20,247 units represented the weakest May since 1952. Sales were down 51.4% in the first five months of 2020 but the industry is hopeful that a re-opening of dealer showrooms in England will help to spur a recovery.

There were severe declines across all segments and fuel types, apart from battery electric vehicles (BEV’s), with 429 more units registered year on year in May as pre-orders of the latest premium models were delivered to customers. The Tesla Model 3 was the best selling car among all fuel types.

BEV sales increased 21.5% year on year while sales of PHEV’s (Petrol Hybrid Electric vehicles) declined 65.1%. The market share of BEV and PHEV’s is now at 7.2% for the year, compared with 2.1% last year.

The overall market is now down -51.4% in the first five months of 2020, at just over half a million registrations compared with more than one million at this point last year.

Source: SMMT