British new car sales drop 29. 5% to their lowest level since 1998

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British new car sales drop 29. 5% to their lowest level since 1998

LONDON - British new car sales fell by 29.5% to their lowest July level since 1998 as the 'pingdemic' of people alone struggling with supply shortages hit demand, according an industry body.

Whilst July 2020 was boosted by being the first full month dealer dealerships were open across Britain after the initial lock down, this year has been hit by a semiconductor shortage in the industry and people having to self-isolate due to catching COVID - 19 or being in contact with someone who had.

As cases swelled in last month, hundreds of thousands of people were being pinged for 10 days by the National Health Service contact-finding app although it has now been tweaked to reduce the numbers contacted.

A total of 123,296 vehicles were registered in July, according to the Society for Motor Manufacturers and Traders, which said it is marginally downgrading its full-year forecast to around 1.82 million cars.

The next few weeks will see changes to self-isolation policies that will hopefully help those companies dealing with staff absences, but the semiconductor shortage is likely to remain an issue until at least the rest of the year, SMMT Chief Executive Mike Hawes said.