The pace of decline in new car registrations in the EU slowed sharply in June as countries in the bloc gradually reopened their economies after the lockdown imposed to fight the coronavirus, or Covid-19, pandemic.
Registrations of new passenger cars in the EU dropped 22.3 percent year-on-year to 949,722 units in June, figures from the European Automobile Manufacturers Association, or ACEA, showed Thursday. "This does mark a slight improvement over May 2020, which saw a drop of 52.3 percent across the European Union," the Brussels-based ACEA said.
"Although dealerships opened for business again after lockdown measures were lifted, consumer demand did not fully recover last month." In June last year, 1.22 million cars were sold. Car sales in the European Union is likely to fall by more than 3 million units or a record 25 percent from 12.8 million units in 2019 to some 9.6 million units this year, due to the impact of the Covid-19, the ACEA had predicted in June.
In terms of volumes, the forecast for 2020 represents the lowest number of new cars sold since 2013, when the industry had come through six consecutive years of decline in the aftermath of the 2008-2009 financial crisis, the ACEA had said. Significant declines continued in all main EU markets in June.
However, car sales in France grew 1.2 percent, being the only exception to the rule, thanks to demand for low-emission vehicles due to the French government's new incentives introduced at the start of June. Spain logged a 36.7 percent drop in sales and Germany followed with a 32.3 percent fall. Italy recorded a 23.1 decline.
In the first half of 2020, demand for new passenger cars in the EU decreased 38.1 percent, which can be attributed to the four consecutive months of unprecedented declines across the region. In the UK, car sales decreased 34.9 percent annually in June and fell 48.5 percent in the January to June period.