- Auto dealer Marshall Motor said it had opened all 117 of its showrooms from Monday under revised Covid-19 operating procedures.

The company had kept 62 aftersales operations open during the lockdown closure period to support emergency services, commercial vehicle operators and key workers.

Even so, it said the lockdown closure period and a gradual return to normal trading levels was anticipated to result in it recording a first-half loss.

In the lead up to the lockdown, like-for-like new unit sales for the three months through March fell 10.6%, compared to a 31.0% decline in new vehicle registrations reported by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders.

Like-for-like used unit sales fell 9.7%, broadly in line with the wider UK used car market.

'Given the continued uncertainty over the economic and trading environment, financial guidance for the year ending 31 December 2020 will remain suspended at this stage,' Marshall Motor said.

'However, the significant impact of both the temporary closure of the group's physical retail showrooms during the current crisis and a gradual return to a more normalised trading environment, is anticipated to result in a loss before tax for the six months ending 30 June 2020.'

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