With lockdowns enforced across much of Europe in March, sheltering at home was on everyone's agenda, and not purchasing a new vehicle (although one wouldn't know it by looking at TSLA stock). The latest data from the European Auto Industry Association (ACEA) confirmed this after showing new car registrations plunged 51.8% YoY to 853,077 vehicles for the month, the biggest drop and the lowest number of sales on record.
"With containment or 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," the ACEA said.
Sales across all major EU markets plunged, with Italy hit the hardest by the pandemic – reporting the most significant drop in new car registrations of 85.4%, followed by -72.2% in France, -69.3% in Spain, and -37.2% in Germany.
FCA Group and Groupe PSA saw the largest drop in vehicle sales in the month, with registrations down 74.4% and 66.9%, respectively.
- VW Group sales drop 43.6% y/y; ytd down 19.4%
- PSA Group sales drop 66.9% y/y; ytd down 34.3%
- Renault Group sales drop 63.7% y/y; ytd down 36.1%
- Ford sales drop 60.9% y/y; ytd down 37.4%
- FCA Group sales drop 74.4% y/y; ytd down 34.5%
- BMW Group sales drop 39.7% y/y; ytd down 16.7%
- Daimler sales drop 40.6% y/y; ytd down 22.9%
- Hyundai Group sales drop 41.8% y/y; ytd down 18.8%
- Toyota Group sales drop 36.2% y/y; ytd down 8.2%
- Nissan sales drop 51.5% y/y; ytd down 25.6%
The decline in car registrations started well before the virus outbreak.
A decline in registrations will likely roll into April as much of the continent remains in lockdown following confirmed virus cases and deaths the highest in Spain, Italy, France, Germany, and the UK, these countries are the drivers of economic growth, and with a pandemic still underway, an economic recession, if not depression is unfolding, that will continue to impede new car sales through 1H20.