In April 2020, registrations of new passenger cars in the European Union posted a year-on-year decline of 76.3% according to the latest figures from the European Automobile Manufacturers' Association (ACEA).

The first full month with COVID-19 restrictions in place resulted in the strongest monthly drop in car demand since records began. With most showrooms across the EU closed for the entire month, the number of new cars sold fell from 1,143,046 units in April 2019 to 270,682 units last month.

Each of the 27 EU markets recorded double-digit declines in April, but Italy and Spain endured the biggest losses, with car registrations falling by 97.6% and 96.5% respectively. Looking at the other major markets, demand dropped by 61.1% in Germany, while France saw an 88.8% contraction in April. The UK, which is no longer included in ACEA’s statistics, saw a decline of -97.3%.

From January to April 2020, EU demand for new passenger cars contracted by 38.5%, owing to the negative impact of the coronavirus on March and April results. So far this year, registrations fell by half in three of the four key EU markets: Italy -50.7%, Spain -48.9% and France -48.0%. In Germany, demand contracted by 31.0% over the first four months of 2020.

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