During March 2020, the EU passenger car market recorded a dramatic drop (-55.1%) in registrations of new vehicles as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak, says ACEA, the trade organization for makers.
With containment / lock-down measures taking hold in most markets from around the middle of the month, the vast majority of European dealerships were closed during the second half of March. Consequently, demand across the region fell by more than half last month, dropping from 1,264,569 units registered in March 2019 to 567,308 units.
All 27 EU markets contracted in March. Italy took the biggest hit, with registrations falling by -85.4% to 28,326 new cars (compared to 194,302 units in March 2019). Demand also collapsed in France (-72.2%) and Spain (-69.3) last month. Germany recorded a less punishing drop than other key markets, but registrations tumbled by 37.7%, nevertheless.
Q1: From January to March 2020, demand for new cars in the European Union declined by -25.6%, with the impact of the corona crisis on March figures heavily factoring in on the total. Each of the major EU markets posted significant losses so far in 2020: Italy -35.5%, France -34.1%, Spain -31% and Germany -20.3%.