LONDON -- British new-car sales fell 30 percent to their lowest July level since 1998 as the 'pingdemic' of people self-isolating alongside supply shortages hit demand, according to an industry body.
A total of 123,296 vehicles were registered in July, according to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), which said it is marginally downgrading its full-year forecast to around 1.82 million cars.
The car market has been hit by a semiconductor shortage in the industry, resulting in lower availability of many models, and people having to self-isolate due to catching COVID-19 or being in contact with someone who had.
"The next few weeks will see changes to self-isolation policies which will hopefully help those companies across the industry dealing with staff absences, but the semiconductor shortage is likely to remain an issue until at least the rest of the year," SMMT CEO Mike Hawes said.
The July result was made worse in comparison with car sales in July last year when the market was boosted when dealerships reopened after a lockdown to reduce the spread of COVID-19.