European car sales registered an unsurprising but nonetheless dramatic decrease in Europe as lockdowns in the continent means car dealerships had to close while lack of consumer confidence augmented the impact of the crisis.
According to data published today by the European Automobile Manufacturers Association (ACEA), new car registrations in the EU fell 76.3% in April, from the same month a year ago.
“The first full month with COVID-19 restrictions in place resulted in the strongest monthly drop in car demand since records began,” the ACEA said, adding that the number of new cars sold fell from 1,143,046 units in April 2019 to 270,682 units last month.
Each of the 27 EU markets recorded double-digit declines in April. The largest decreases were experienced in Italy and Spain, where the market was almost completely wiped out, with decreases reaching 97%. France was just behind at 88%. In Germany, sales dropped by 61.1%. The UK, which is no longer included in official EU data, also had a contraction exceeding 97% in sales.
New car sales in the EU had already seen a dramatic drop of 55% in March, compared with the same month a year earlier, as a result of the Covid-19 outbreak. In mid-March, most European countries introduced strict lockdowns, leaving the vast majority of European dealerships closed during the second half of March.
While the figure might not be particularly high in Germany, its economy is particularly dependent on this industry. Many Member States, including Malta, have businesses which produce parts for German car markers.