European car sales down 32% for the first 8 months of 2020

COVID-19 is affecting businesses worldwide, including new car registrations. The European countries were hit the hardest initially with COVID-19, and the European market is showing a substantial decrease as it continues to climb back health-wise and economically.

In July 2020, registrations of new passenger cars in the European Union saw a relatively small decline of 5.7% compared to the same month last year. Seven of the 27 member states posted growth in July, including France (+3.9%) and Spain (+1.1%). Outside the EU perimeter, the United Kingdom (+11.3%), Iceland (+44.5%), and Norway (+6.5%) also showed first signs of recovery. Anecdotally, that is because the more the countries open up, the fewer people want to use public transportation.

However, during August, the EU car market posted a stronger decline (-18.9%) again, although less dramatic than earlier in the year. Except for Cyprus (+14.1%), all countries in the region recorded losses compared to August 2019. Looking at the four major EU markets, Italy performed best, with a slight drop of 0.4%, while the strongest declines were seen in Germany (-20.0%) and France (-19.8%).

Over the first eight months of 2020, EU demand for passenger cars contracted by 32.0%. In total, 6,123,852 new cars were registered across the European Union from January to August, almost 2.9 million less than during the same period last year. Among the EU’s largest markets, Spain saw the most significant decline (-40.6%) so far this year, followed by Italy (-38.9%), France (-32.0%), and Germany (-28.8%).

The countries that make up the European Union + EFTA + the UK

AUSTRIA ‐33.2
BELGIUM ‐26.3
BULGARIA ‐37.6
CROATIA ‐47.4
CYPRUS ‐21.3
CZECH REPUBLIC ‐25.1
DENMARK ‐20.7
ESTONIA ‐33.3
FINLAND ‐18.3
FRANCE ‐32.0
GERMANY ‐28.8
GREECE ‐39.1
HUNGARY ‐25.4
IRELAND ‐28.6
ITALY ‐38.9
LATVIA ‐28.4
LITHUANIA ‐22.9
LUXEMBOURG ‐24.6
NETHERLANDS ‐25.2
POLAND ‐31.6
PORTUGAL ‐42.0
ROMANIA ‐37.5
SLOVAKIA ‐31.2
SLOVENIA ‐25.5
SPAIN ‐40.6
SWEDEN ‐21.3
EUROPEAN UNION (EU) -32.

ICELAND ‐31.4
NORWAY ‐19.8
SWITZERLAND ‐29.7
EFTA ‐26.6
UNITED KINGDOM ‐39.7

TOTAL (EU + EFTA + UK) ‐32.9