plate

New car orders struggle ahead of March plate change



a car parked in a parking lot: Empty new car showroom


© Provided by Motoring Research
Empty new car showroom

Retailers are reporting new car orders for the new March 21-series registration plate are down by as much as half as a 39.5 percent sales decline in January 2021 looks set to continue.

There are early signs of a similar decline in February 2021.

Automotive service company Cox Automotive surveyed car retailers and 3 in 4 reported a downturn in forward orders for March 2021 of between 10 percent and 50 percent, compared to 2020.

“Q1 is a critical period” said Cox Automotive strategy director Philip Nothard, “and it’s vital that showrooms are able to re-open as soon as possible.”

However, lockdown isn’t the only challenge faced by car dealers – and may actually be masking some of the other issues.

There are issues with new car supply related to the Brexit deal, said Mr Nothard, “with border frictions continuing and

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