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European new car sales fell by 24 per cent in January due to continued pandemic pressure

3 months ago

European new car sales took a tumble in January, with restrictions from the pandemic weighing heavy on the industry.

The new figures from the European Automobile Manufacturers Association (ACEA) has reported what it referred to as an ‘accelerated decline’, down by nearly a quarter compared to the same month last year.

This January EU markets’ new car sales fell from 956,447 in January 2020 by 24 per cent to 726,491 units registered.


Only two of the 27 EU markets didn’t suffer double digit growth, and of the big four only France avoided this with sales falling 5.8 per cent.

Spain was the most effected of the big four markets, with new car registrations falling by 51.5 per cent.

Germany was hit with a 31.1 per cent drop in new car registrations, while Italy reported a drop of 14 per cent.

The only other market not to post a double digit loss was Sweden, where registrations grew by 22.5 per cent.


The only group to grow its registrations in Europe this January compared to last was Volvo Car Corporation, which was up 9.4 per cent.

By brand, Smart was up 230.3 per cent and small volume sports car Alpine was also up 54.3 per cent.

The two largest groups in the region by volume are Volkswagen group and now Stellantis, which were down 26.8 per cent and 26.1 per cent respectively.

Although Volkswagen, down 30.1 per cent, and Audi, down 31.8 per cent, saw the largest drop for VW Group, Porsche seemed to weather the storm with a drop in sales of only 6.6 per cent.

Meanwhile, DS Automobiles registrations fell by 44.4 per cent and Alfa Romeo was down 46.5 per cent.

BMW Group and Damiler were also more resilient, both seeing a 14.2 per cent drop.

Rebecca Chaplin

Rebecca has been a motoring and business journalist since 2014, previously writing and presenting for titles such as the Press Association, Auto Express and Car Buyer. She has worked in many roles for Car Dealer Magazine’s publisher Blackball Media including head of editorial.

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