Passenger car registrations: -23.7% in 2020; -3.3% in December

Brussels, 19 January 2021 – In December 2020, demand for new passenger cars in the European Union declined by 3.3% to 1,031,070 units.

In December 2020, demand for new passenger cars in the European Union declined by 3.3% to 1,031,070 units. The four largest EU markets, however, recorded very different results. Italy and France both suffered double-digit losses, with car registrations down 14.9% and 11.8% respectively, in the last month of the year. By contrast, Germany posted a solid gain (+9.9%) and Spain’s performance remained stable, as the number of registrations was more or less the same as in December 2019.

Looking at full-year 2020 results, the EU passenger car market contracted by 23.7% to 9.9 million units as a direct result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Indeed, containment measures – including full-scale lockdowns and other restrictions throughout the year – had an unprecedented impact on car sales across the European Union.

2020 saw the biggest yearly drop in car demand since records began, with new-car registrations falling by 3 million units compared to 2019. All 27 EU markets recorded double-digit declines throughout 2020. Among the region’s biggest car markets, Spain posted the sharpest drop (-32.3%), followed closely by Italy (-27.9%) and France (-25.5%), while full-year losses were significant but less pronounced in Germany (-19.1%).

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About ACEA

  • The European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA) represents the 16 major Europe-based car, van, truck and bus makers: BMW Group, CNH Industrial, DAF Trucks, Daimler, Daimler Truck, Ferrari, Ford of Europe, Honda Motor Europe, Hyundai Motor Europe, Jaguar Land Rover, Renault Group, Stellantis, Toyota Motor Europe, Volkswagen Group, Volvo Cars, and Volvo Group.
  • Visit www.acea.auto for more information about ACEA, and follow us on www.twitter.com/ACEA_auto or www.linkedin.com/company/ACEA/.
  • Contact: Francesca Piazza, Statistics Manager, fp@acea.auto.

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About the EU automobile industry

  • 12.6 million Europeans work in the auto industry (directly and indirectly), accounting for 6.6% of all EU jobs.
  • 11.6% of EU manufacturing jobs – some 3.5 million – are in the automotive sector.
  • Motor vehicles are responsible for €398.4 billion of tax revenue for governments across key European markets.
  • The automobile industry generates a trade surplus of €76.3 billion for the EU.
  • The turnover generated by the auto industry represents more than 8% of the EU’s GDP.
  • Investing €62 billion in R&D annually, the automotive sector is Europe’s largest private contributor to innovation, accounting for 33% of total EU spending.
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