Sales of new cars plunged to levels not seen since 1959 in February as coronavirus lockdowns continued to ravage Britain’s automotive industry.
Just 51,312 new cars were registered last month according to data from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) – a 35.5pc decline that equated to 28,282 fewer cars than in February last year.
February is traditionally a quiet month for the car industry as it comes ahead of the new registration plate in March.
Motorists keen to have the latest car on their drives mean March is normally the busiest time for dealers, accounting for a fifth of all new vehicle sales each year.
However, with January lockdowns forcing showrooms to shut and dealers going online to make sales, demand has collapsed.
According to the SMMT, closures and weaker consumer confidence related to the pandemic have cost the industry £23bn in lost