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Getty/Alan Schein Photography

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Car showrooms re-opened in June

Car sales in Northern Ireland are still struggling with the impact of the coronavirus lockdown.

5,010 new cars were registered in September according to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).

That is about 3% lower than the same time last year.

So far this year 28,189 new cars have been registered in Northern Ireland, which is 34% lower than the same period in 2019.

Across the UK as a whole, there were 328,041 new car registrations last month – the weakest September in two decades.

Car showrooms were closed for months because of the impact of the Covid-19 lockdown earlier this year but re-opened in June.

‘Short-term future very challenging’

SMMT Chief Executive Mike Hawes said: “During a torrid year, the automotive industry has demonstrated incredible resilience, but this is not a recovery,” he said.

  • NI car sales recovering but still down by 40%
  • Surge in post-lockdown car sales in NI

“Despite the boost of a new registration plate, new model introductions and attractive offers, this is still the poorest September since the two-plate system was introduced in 1999,” he said

“Unless the pandemic is controlled and economy-wide consumer and business confidence rebuilt, the short-term future looks very challenging indeed,” he added.

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