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May 19, 2020

European car registrations plunged 80% in April

Data released by ACEA for European region new car registrations during the month of April (EU27+EFTA+UK) shows a 79.8% year-on-year decline with the market at just 245,483 units. 

By Sam Duke

Data released by ACEA for European region new car registrations during the month of April (EU27+EFTA+UK) shows a 79.8% year-on-year decline with the market at just 245,483 units. 

ACEA said the first full month with COVID-19 restrictions in place resulted in the strongest monthly drop in car demand since records began. With most showrooms across the EU closed for the entire month, the ACEA data was not unexpected and also confirms data published on just-auto earlier this month

Each of the 27 EU markets recorded double-digit declines in April, but Italy and Spain endured the biggest losses, with car registrations falling by 97.6% and 96.5% respectively. Looking at the other major markets, demand dropped by 61.1% in Germany, while France saw an 88.8% contraction in April.

EU27 market sales were down 76.3% at 270,682 units while EFTA markets (Iceland, Norway and Switzerland) saw a drop of 58.2% to 17,179 units. Completing the region-wide picture, the UK new car market for April was 97.3% down with sales of just 4,321 units.  

April’s historic low also throws up some curious anomalies in terms of nation rankings. While Germany was way out on front as the largest national market (120,840 units sold), France second (20,997 units), Sweden’s market was third largest (18,916 units) – a somewhat unusual result, eclipsing the usually much larger national markets of UK, Spain and Italy. Sweden’s government has opted for a so-called ‘light touch’ in addressing the COVID-19 crisis, avoiding many lockdown measures adopted elsewhere in the region.

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