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Tesla Model 3 was the best-selling car in the United Kingdom in April, while total UK new car sales plunged by 97.3 percent year on year to the lowest level since 1946, due to the lockdown in the country to curb the spread of COVID-19.
Car sales in the UK plunged to just 4,321 vehicles in April, down from 161,064 cars sold in the same month last year, according to data from the UK’s Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT). The April 2020 new car registrations hit their lowest level since immediately after World War II, in 1946.
In this distorted market statistics for April 2020, Tesla Model 3 was the best-selling car in the UK with 658 Model 3s sold, ahead of 367 new car registrations for Jaguar I-Pace and 264 new Vauxhall Corsas sold.
According to Arstechnica’s Timothy B. Lee, the top performance by Tesla’s Model 3 in April was due to the fact that the UK had just scrapped, as of early April, the company car tax for electric vehicles, and to Tesla’s policy for direct sales with delivery to consumers bypassing dealerships, all of which are closed in many European countries amid the lockdowns.
Elsewhere in Europe, new car sales numbers in April were equally dismal as they were in the UK.
Italy’s new car registrations numbered just 2,182 vehicles last month, down by 98 percent from 107,930 car registrations in April 2019. Car sales in France slumped by 90 percent on the year, while new vehicle registrations in Spain crashed by 96 percent. The UK, Italy, Spain, and France are the largest auto markets in Europe – together with Germany – but they are also the hotspots of the coronavirus pandemic in Europe, with strict lockdowns imposed by authorities in March and April.
In the US, the picture in April was not as bleak as it was in Europe, although many automakers reported sales at their lowest levels in decades. Dealers and executives hope that prospective buyers will return once they emerge from the lockdowns, the Wall Street Journal reported last week.
By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com
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Tsvetana is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing for news outlets such as iNVEZZ and SeeNews.