Another drop: the car market in Western Europe collapsed 52.9%

Another drop: the car market in Western Europe collapsed 52.9%


The epidemic coronavirus infection COVID-19 and the downtime of the economy has predictably led to a fall in sales of new cars in Europe, but, as in the US, the most difficult situation on the market is expected in April.

Due to the large number of countries and the complexity of the calculations of the monthly statistics of the European car market is always published with a large gap from the rest of the world, but an analytical Agency LMC Automotive managed fairly quickly to collect sales data for March in the 17 countries that it relates to Western Europe (see table below). These figures allow us to understand the General market situation, and this situation is, frankly, heavy.

As you can see, the total number of sold new passenger cars in the region in March this year compared to March 2019 declined by 52.9% to 774 280 pieces, and a fall in the first quarter was 27.1% – implemented of 2.76 million vehicles.


Sales statistics for individual countries is directly linked to when and how rigid quarantine measures they introduced. First in Europe, as we remember from COVID-19 affected Italy and its government first imposed a total quarantine, in the end, almost the entire March, the market didn’t work and sales dropped from 85.4% to 28 PCs. 326 Second, the pace of decline – France (62 668 PCs., -72,2%). This is followed by Spain (37 644 PCs -69,3%), Austria (10 715 PCs, -66,5%), Ireland (6173 units, -63%) and Portugal (10 of 596 PCs -57,4%).

The largest market in March was great Britain (254 684 PCs, -44,4%). The second largest is Germany (215 199 PCs -37,7%).

The smallest decline was recorded in Finland (9194 units, -0.8%) and Sweden (27 649 pieces, -8,6%). While the Swedish authorities were initially against a hard quarantine, believing that its consequences for society for the economy can be more severe than the natural course of the epidemic.

The forecast is LMC Automotive’s year-end is still very optimistic: 11,68 million sold cars, which is 18.3% less than in 2019 the Forecast is based on the assumption that in the second half after the lifting of quarantine restrictions, the market will begin to grow and will gradually recover.


Meanwhile, the most critical from the point of view of sales by month Europe will be April, since trade is now almost in all countries paralyzed. Yes, some countries (Austria, Germany, Denmark, Spain, Italy, Czech Republic) want to weaken quarantine, seeing what enormous damage it causes to the economy, but Europe is, in principle, is not able to make quick and coordinated decisions, and tangible market defrost possible at best in may. Add to that the fallen, despite the government support, purchasing power and General depression from the shock, which does not contribute to the active consumption. We can not exclude the second wave of the epidemic in the fall and a new quarantine screwing nuts – then no recovery of the market will not, and year will be a record failure.

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