UK car sales slump eases as economy reopens – business live

Rolling coverage of the latest economic and financial news, as UK car dealers report that sales fell by a third in June, year-on-year

8.01am BST

Ian Plummer, director at Auto Trader, reports that many consumers have been researching buying a new car since the lockdown eased – but not all have taken the plunge.

And he confirms that uncertainty over a possible scrappage scheme isn’t helping.

The new car market is bouncing-back but we haven’t yet returned to pre-COVID-19 levels. There’s clearly consumer appetite for both new and used cars; with a record month for Auto Trader as consumers conducted 64 million cross platform visits on the platform in June.

The number of leads sent to retailers by consumers was also up a massive 90% year-on-year. Although car buyers spent 10.5 million hours researching cars in June, it does take time to convert this consumer interest into sales.

7.55am BST

UK car sales are also suffering because of uncertainty over the government’s economic plans, the Financial Times reports.

A survey from What Car? has found that one in three potential buyers are sitting tight, in case Westminster introduces a new vehicle scrappage scheme.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak is expected on Wednesday to set out measures to boost the economy as the country tries to recover from the pandemic, including help for industry and green housing.

But there is confusion over whether there could be an incentive or scrappage scheme to promote the purchase of new cars, despite the FT reporting last month that such a programme had been considered and was “very unlikely”. In a regular weekly survey of 6,000 people by What Car?, 33 per cent said they were delaying a purchase “in case the government launches purchase incentives”.

Proof that government dilly-dallying over scrappage is hurting sales.

One third of car buyers are holding out for incentives, finds @whatcar.

Full story here: https://t.co/r87RugTsT2

Continue reading… Source: The Guardian: UK car sales slump eases as economy reopens – business live ———

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