In March this year, new car registrations recorded a dramatic decline of 55.1 percent year on year to 567,308 units in the European Union (EU), as a result of the coronavirus outbreak, according to the latest figures issued by the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA). With containment/lockdown 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.
All 27 EU markets contracted in March, but Italy took the biggest hit, with registrations falling by 85.4 percent to 28,326 new cars. Likewise, demand also collapsed in France (-72.2 percent) and Spain (-69.3 percent) last month. Germany recorded a less extreme drop than the other key markets, but registrations fell by 37.7 percent nevertheless.
During the first quarter, new car registrations in the EU declined by 25.6 percent year on year to 3.332.515 units, with the impact of the corona crisis on March figures weighing heavily on the total. Each of the major EU markets posted significant losses so far in 2020: Italy -35.5 percent, France -34.1 percent, Spain -31 percent and Germany -20.3 percent.