Friday, 10 July 2020

European car sales plummet

EUROPEAN car sales fell by more than two-thirds in April as coronavirus lockdowns in the region closed car dealerships and brought a halt to manufacturing and sales.

New car registrations in the EU fell 76.3 per cent from the same month a year ago, according to data from the European Automobile Manufacturers Association.

The number of new cars sold fell from 1,143,046 units in April 2019 to 270,682 units last month.

The association said: “The first full month with covid-19 restrictions in place resulted in the strongest monthly drop in car demand since records began.” Each of the 27 EU markets recorded double-digit declines in April, but Italy and Spain saw the biggest losses, with car registrations falling by 97.6 per cent and 96.5 per cent, respectively.

In Germany, sales dropped by 61.1 per cent and France saw an 88.8 per cent contraction in April, according to the association. In the UK, which is no longer included in the EU-wide figures, car sales dropped 97.3 per cent.

New car sales in the EU had already seen a drop of 55 per cent in March, compared with the same month a year earlier, as a result of the pandemic. In mid-March, most European countries introduced strict lockdowns, leaving the vast majority of European dealerships closed during the second half of March.

Year-to-date volume for India was also the lowest result recorded since JATO started to track registration data in 1980.

Felipe Munoz, global analyst at JATO Dynamics said: “Not a single original equipment manufacturer was prepared for this scenario or expecting a crisis on such a large scale.

“The only silver-lining from this turbulence is that it has created an opportunity for automotive players to reassess their operations and become more agile.”

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