Car sales in Europe: March was a disaster
The European car manufacturing association, ACEA, has announced that car sales in Europe regressed by 55,1% in March. Main reason for it was the imposed closing of the dealerships all over Europe around the middle of the month because of the corona crisis.
Some 567 000 new cars have been registered in Europe in March, according to ACEA, down from 1 260 000 the year before. The decrease is most spectacular in Italy (-85,4%), France (-72,2%), and Spain (-69,3%). Germany has limited the loss to -37,7%.
From now on, ACEA is treating the UK figures separately and has changed its statistics accordingly. For March, the UK market decreased by 44,4%; the Belgian one by 47,5% compared to March 2019.
When we look at certain essential manufacturers, we see that the VW Group has seen its sales shrink by 46,2% in March. For the two big French brands, the decline is far worse. Renault’s sales decreased by 64,7%, while the PSA Group saw sales dwindle by 68,1%.
The whole of the EU saw a decline in sales of 25,6% for the whole first quarter of the year. According to the way the crisis struck countries, there are fairly important differences. France fell by 35,5% and Belgium by 18,3%, for example.
In the first months, the European market already suffered from anticipated sales at the end of last year. Some manufacturers had to get rid of more polluting cars as soon as possible; in some countries, more substantial tax rules were installed as of the 1st of January.
As all dealers stay most probably closed at least until the beginning of May, the figures for April will undoubtedly even be worse. Everyone is losing vast sums of money and is hoping that the market recovers quickly when it reopens, presumably somewhere in May.