Passenger car registrations: -41.5% five months into 2020; -52.3% in May

Brussels, 17 June 2020 – In May 2020, the European passenger car market suffered another sharp drop, with registrations falling by 52.3%.

In May 2020, the European passenger car market suffered another sharp drop, with registrations falling by 52.3%. Although COVID-19 lockdown measures were eased in many countries last month, the number of new cars sold across the European Union1 fell from 1,217,259 units in May 2019 to 581,161 passenger cars in May of this year.

Double-digit declines were recorded in each of the 27 EU markets last month, even though the percentage drops were less dramatic than in April. Spain saw the biggest decline among the four major EU markets (-72.7%), while sales fell by roughly half in France (-50.3%), Italy (-49.6%) and Germany (-49.5%).

From January to May 2020, EU demand for new passenger cars contracted by 41.5%, following three months of unprecedented declines across the region. So far this year, car registrations decreased by 54.2% in Spain, 50.4% in Italy and 48.5% in France. The contraction of the German market was slightly less severe, with registrations down 35.0% over the first five months of 2020.

1 European Union refers to the new composition with 27 member states (excluding the United Kingdom). For year-on-year comparisons, historical data are recalculated to adjust to the new EU27 perimeter.


About ACEA

  • The European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA) represents the 15 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, JLR, Mercedes-Benz, Nissan, Renault Group, Toyota Motor Europe, Volkswagen Group, and Volvo Group
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  • Contact: Francesca Piazza, Senior Statistics Manager,

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About the EU automobile industry

  • 12.9 million Europeans work in the automotive sector
  • 8.3% of all manufacturing jobs in the EU
  • €392.2 billion in tax revenue for European governments
  • €101.9 billion trade surplus for the European Union
  • Over 7% of EU GDP generated by the auto industry
  • €59.1 billion in R&D spending annually, 31% of EU total
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