After a rebound in September, the European automobile market fell again in October following the reconfinement of several nations. Returning to 2018 levels, the number of new registrations fell 7.8% in one year, to 953,615 units.
Demand fell sharply in the main European markets. Spain is down 21%, France 9.5%, Poland 14.6% and Belgium 9.4%, the Association of European Automobile Manufacturers (ACEA) said on Wednesday in a statement.
In Germany (-3.6%) as in Italy (-0.2%), the concessions that remained open made it possible to limit the breakage. The European market had collapsed by 55.1% in March and then by 76.3% in April under the effect of the confinement of populations and the closure of automobile shops. It began to recover in September, taking advantage of government stimulus measures adopted in several major European countries.
The decline in orders is “unprecedented”, underlines ACEA. Eight million cars hit the road from January to October, 2.9 million less than over the same period in 2019. The Spanish market is the hardest hit, with 670,000 vehicles sold, compared to more than one million in the first 10 months of 2019.
The ACEA, which brings together 16 manufacturers active in Europe, predicted before the pandemic a decline of 2% for 2020, after six consecutive years of growth which had brought the market very close to its highest levels.
On the list of manufacturers, the German group Volkswagen (with the brands Skoda, Audi, Seat and Porsche), still undisputed number one in Europe, posted sales of -9.1% in October. Its runner-up PSA (Peugeot-Citroën-Opel) is down 6.6%, Hyundai by 7%, BMW by 13.5%, and Daimler (Mercedes-Smart) by 8.1%.
Two groups stand out by posting higher sales in October: Renault (+ 0.2%) and FCA (Fiat-Chrysler, + 3.9%).