The automotive industry in the UK has recorded this year’s first monthly increase in sales, following the reopening of dealerships.
Some 174,887 cars were registered in July, according to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).
This is up 11.3% compared with the same month in 2019.
July was the first time dealerships across the UK were open for a full month since February, due to the coronavirus lockdown.
The SMMT said pent-up demand and special offers led to “a reprieve for the sector”.
But despite the monthly increase, registrations for the first seven months of the year are down 41.9%.
SMMT chief executive Mike Hawes said: “July’s figures are positive, with a boost from demand pent up from earlier in the year and some attractive offers meaning there are some very good deals to be had.
“We must be cautious, however, as showrooms have only just fully reopened nationwide and there is still much uncertainty about the future.
“By the end of September, we should have a clearer picture of whether or not this is a long-term trend.
“Although this month’s figures provide hope, the market remains fragile in the face of possible future spikes and localised lockdowns as well as, sadly, probable job losses across the economy.
“The next few weeks will be crucial in showing whether or not we are on the road to recovery.”