New car sales in Europe dropped by nearly a quarter in 2020 as the Covid-19 pandemic provoked the worst crisis ever to hit the European car industry.
Registrations plunged by 23.7 per cent, or three million vehicles, to 9.9m units, according to new figures released by the European Automobile Manufacturers Association.
In a statement, the organisation said: ‘Containment measures – including full‐scale lockdowns and other restrictions throughout the year – had an unprecedented impact on car sales across the European Union.’
All major markets recorded double-digit declines, down 32.3 per cent in Spain, 28 per cent in Italy and 25 per cent in France.
Germany suffered a more contained 19 per cent drop.
December sales were just 3.3 per cent lower than the previous year, but performance varied drastically between markets.
Italy and Spain both had double-digit dips, Germany gained 10 per cent while Spain was flat.
Germany’s Volkswagen shed three per cent in market share, while gains were posted by PSA Peugeot and Fiat Chrysler, which on Sunday (Jan 17) officially launched as a new merged entity called Stellantis, as well as Toyota.