Passenger car registrations down 55% in March

The EU passenger car market recorded a dramatic 55.1% drop in registrations of new vehicles in March 2020 as a result of the Covid-19 outbreak, according to the latest data from the European Automobile Manufacturers Association (ACEA).

With lockdown measures in place in most markets since the middle of March, the vast majority of European dealerships were closed during the second half of the month. Consequently, demand across the region fell by more than half, dropping from 1,264,569 units registered in March 2019 to 567,308 units in the same month this year.

All 27 EU markets contracted in March, but Italy took the biggest hit, with registrations falling by 85.4% to 28,326 new cars (compared to 194,302 units in March 2019). Likewise, demand also collapsed in France (-72.2%) and Spain (-69.3%) last month. Germany recorded a less extreme drop than the other key markets, but registrations fell by 37.7% nevertheless.

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 weighing heavily 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%.