European car sales fell by almost a quarter last year as the pandemic triggered the worst crisis to ever hit the capital-intensive industry.
According to new data released on Tuesday by the European Automobile Manufacturers Association, new car registration fell by 23.7% or 3 million vehicles to 9.9 million units. It states that lockdowns and other restrictions “have had an unprecedented impact on car sales across Europe.”
All major markets saw double-digit declines, down 32.3% in Spain, 28% in Italy and 25% in France. Germany suffered a less pronounced decline of 19%.
December sales were only 3.3% lower than in the previous year, but performance varied significantly between markets. Italy and Spain saw double-digit declines, Germany gained 10%, while Spain stagnated.
German Volkswagen’s market share fell by 3%, while PSA Peugeot and Fiat Chrysler – which officially began operations as a new merger on Monday – reported profits as well as Toyota.