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, DAF Trucks, Daimler Truck, Ferrari, Ford of Europe, Honda Motor Europe, Hyundai Motor Europe, Iveco Group, Jaguar Land Rover, Mercedes-Benz, 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

  • 12.7 million Europeans work in the auto industry (directly and indirectly), accounting for 6.6% of all EU jobs.
  • 11.5% 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 €58.8 billion in R&D annually, the automotive sector is Europe’s largest private contributor to innovation, accounting for 32% of total EU spending.
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