Friday February 26, 2021

European car market slumps by a quarter in 2020

Published : 20 Jan 2021, 00:06

  DF News Desk

DF File Photo.

The number of new passenger cars registered in Europe last year fell by almost a quarter to 12.0 million as Europe recorded the largest decline among the world's three major sales regions (China, North America and Europe), reported Xinhua, quoting the German Association of the Automotive Industry (VDA) on Tuesday.

The COVID-19 crisis has had a "massive impact on the international markets in 2020," the VDA noted. Sales fell in almost all countries of the world, in some cases drastically.

In the United States, just under 14.5 million vehicles were sold on the light vehicle market, including cars and light trucks, in 2020, a decline of 15 percent. According to the VDA, this was the first time since 2012 that the U.S. market did not exceed the 15 million mark.

China has largely emerged from the COVID-19 pandemic and its serious consequences for automotive sales. "Thanks to a rapid recovery," the decline was only six percent year-on-year to 19.8 million units, the VDA noted.

Last week, German carmaker BMW announced that its sales in China increased by 7.4 percent year-on-year, with 777,379 BMW and MINI brand vehicles delivered last year, which was the "best-ever annual sales result in China since entering the market in 1994."

Volkswagen subsidiary Audi also published its sales results for 2020 last week. The company achieved "new best figures" in China with a total of 727,358 vehicles sold last year, up 5.4 percent from the previous year.

Overall, the VDA expects the global passenger car market to slowly improve in 2021. However, the declines of 2020 would "not be fully offset."

The higher growth rates expected for the coming months should not be overestimated because of the extremely low sales figures during the COVID-19 lockdown in spring last year. With the exception of China, vehicle sales in the two other major markets would only slowly approach their respective pre-crisis levels.