Car Sales Tanked in 2020, But Dealerships Had Their Most Profitable Year Ever

Photo credit: Howard Berman - Getty Images

Photo credit: Howard Berman – Getty Images

From Road & Track

Last year wasn’t good for new car sales. Factory shutdowns, lockdowns, and consumer hesitancy caused car sales to crater in the Spring of 2020; stronger sales in the latter months of the year couldn’t erase the early drop. Overall, sales were down 14.6 percent in 2020, which sounds like bad news for dealers. That’s hardly the case: Automotive News reports that overall dealer profits soared by 48 percent last year, leading to record-setting profits despite sluggish sales.

That begs the question: How did dealers manage to make so much more money selling fewer cars? The first answer appears to be simple: They put the squeeze on us. Shuttered factories drastically reduced supply, but demand stayed strong. That led to a rush on dealers for in-demand models, with a line of customers ready to pay. Dealers could charge what

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Toyota Yaris, Car of the Year 2021, A deserving winner

“The Car of the Year” trophy, which has been awarded since 1964, is the most prestigious and coveted award in the automotive world. A 59-member jury, made up of automotive journalists from 22 countries, selects the winner from seven models that have made it to the round of finalists in the first round of voting.

The finalists for “The Car of the Year 2021” are:

•    Citroën C4
•    Cupra Formentor
•    Fiat 500
•    Land Rover Defender
•    Škoda Octavia
•    Toyota Yaris
•    Volkswagen ID.3

One of these cars will be the successor of last year’s winner, the Peugeot 208.

Now it is a neatly different story. Yaris keeps on being more compact than other B-segment models, but has matured and refined in every aspect: looks, perceived quality, safety and comfort equipment, performance and handling too. The main

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Worst start to the year for UK car sales since 1970

Britain has suffered its weakest January car sales in 51 years, as showroom closures brought the market to a near standstill.

a car parked in a parking lot

The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) said on Thursday that just 90,249 new vehicles were registered across the UK last month, down 40% on last year. SMMT said the new car registrations total was the lowest in January since 1970.

“Following a £20.4bn [$27.7bn] loss of revenue last year, the auto industry faces a difficult start to 2021,” said SMMT chief executive Mike Hawes.

READ MORE:Negative rates in focus as Bank of England updates the market

Sales of diesel vehicles fell by 62%, while petrol car sales dropped 50%. Demand for electric vehicles rose by 8% and hybrid sales grew by 34%.

The headline slump was caused by lockdown restrictions across the UK, which meant car showrooms were shut.

Hawes called for showrooms to be opened

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Car sales see worst start to the year since 1970 as lockdowns stall recovery

New car sales at the start of the year were the weakest since 1970 as the recovery the beleaguered industry had hoped for stalled, industry figures show.

a crowded parking lot with many cars driving on a busy street: Sales in January were down by 39.5% on a year ago

© Reuters
Sales in January were down by 39.5% on a year ago

Just 90,249 vehicles were registered last month, 39.5% down from a year ago and the lowest January figure for more than half a century, as lockdown measures took their toll.

‘Massive take-up of electrified vehicles’



The slump would have been even worse if not for “click-and-collect” options put in place by dealerships adapting to life during the pandemic, said the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), which published the data.

Live COVID updates from the UK and around the world

It called for showrooms to be reopened as soon as it is safe to do so.

The January data follows a “lost year” for

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