New car sales are finally on the move after one of the darkest years in automotive history. Official figures from April show registrations hit 141,583, significantly up on the same month in 2020 when showrooms were in lockdown with only 4,321 sales.
However, figures are still 12.9 percent down on the average for the last decade, suggesting the full impact of showrooms opening has yet to be realised as cars which have been ordered have yet to be delivered.
Car bosses are cautiously confident and have now revised forecasts for this year to 1.86 million, up 13.9 percent on 2020.
The biggest increase in sales this year is set to be new plug-in cars, which are predicted to account for one in seven registrations.
Plug-in hybrids accounted for 6.8 percent of the market, just ahead of battery electric at 6.5 percent. Battery electric cars are now expected to account for 8.9 percent of all sales this year.
Mike Hawes of the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, said: “After one of the darkest years in automotive history, there is light at the end of the tunnel. A full recovery is still some way off, but with showrooms open and customers able to test drive the latest models, the industry can begin to rebuild.”