New car sales plunge at fastest pace since Second World War

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The sale of new cars in the UK fell by nearly 30 per cent to 1.63 million last year, according to new industry figures.

It means that 2020 was the worst year for new car sales since 1992, when the country was plunged into recession, with the year-on-year percentage fall representing the biggest drop in sales since the Second World War.

With the industry now facing weeks of further lockdown, the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders has abandoned its forecasts for this year. The trade body has suggested that new registrations are unlikely to reach two million again over the next 12 months. There were at 2.3 million new registrations in 2019 and 2.7 million in 2016.

Mike Hawes, chief executive of the SMMT,