SMMT Optimistic as We Head for 12 April Re-Opening


The SMMT, who we all know and love, has issued a pre-12 April rallying call saying that ‘the only way is up for new car registrations’. Digging down into the detail we see that not all is rosy in the garden and, as ever, the SMMT is realistic and constructive.

We recommend you have a good look at the detail yourself here The only way is up for new car registrations as showrooms look to reopen – SMMT

But, if you haven’t got time for that, here’s a quick summary.

  • UK new car registrations ‘grow’ for first time since August – up 11.5% – but remain -36.9% adrift of 10-year March average.
  • Showrooms ready for opening next week following Q1 shortfall of 58,032 fewer cars, at a cost of £1.8bn to industry.
  • Around 8,300 registrations a day needed for a return to average pre-pandemic levels by the end of the year.

The UK new car market has recorded its first ‘growth’ since August 2020, with 29,280 more units registered during March compared to March 2020.  But the SMMT emphasises the fact that last month was the anniversary of the first lockdown and that across the last year registrations fell by -44.4%.

Also, so far in 2021 we have seen 58,032 fewer cars registered compared to January to March last year. 

Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive, said: “The past year has been the toughest in modern history and the automotive sector has, like many others, been hit hard. However, with showrooms opening in less than a week, there is optimism that consumer confidence – and hence the market – will return.”

There is a lot to get your teeth into in the SMMT report, but it holds up hope for the industry as we all gear up for 12 April.  It makes fascinating reading and should spur us all on to the Great Re-Opening.