Vehicle sales in Spain will not recover pre-crisis levels in 2021

Next year will be better than 2020, but the situation in the automotive sector will continue to be very far from what was achieved in 2019, before the coronavirus crisis. According to BBVA estimates, in 2021 it will be around one million one hundred thousand units registered, 43.79% more, but still 9% below those reached the previous year.

According to its central scenario, for this financial year, BBVA’s research service foresees a 40% reduction in sales, to 765,000 vehicles, accusing the strong impact of having both dealerships and factories closed for two months. “Sales could be below 700,000 units if the scenario deteriorates, or exceed 870,000 if the uncertainty falls more than expected in the second half of this year,” he says.

Until March, registrations decreased 14.5% in the interannual rate, and the drop shot up to 94.5% between March 14 and 31. In April, the decline was 96.5%, while forecasts for May “anticipate a further decline.” In the absence of the pandemic, around 190,000 more cars would have been registered in March and April, according to the report.

All regions of Spain, as detailed by BBVA, are affected by the reduction in demand. In the Balearic Islands and Cantabria, for example, the collapse touched 100% year-on-year (-99.4% and -99.5% respectively), followed by the Basque Country, Andalusia, Murcia, Castilla y León and Castilla la Mancha, where the drop was around 98%. In the rest of the communities, the decreases ranged between 95% and 97%.

BBVA Research estimates indicate that in the absence of the pandemic, around 230,000 passenger cars would have been registered between March and April, which means that the health crisis has prevented the registration of 188,000 passenger cars. In relative terms, the impact has been greater among professionals (-83.2% compared to the scenario without a pandemic), than in the world of individuals (-81.8%).

The research service is not optimistic that the foreseeable rise in interest in acquiring a private vehicle to minimize exposure to contagion will avoid “a notable contraction in demand.” Although he emphasizes that “the uncertainty regarding sales forecasts is exceptionally high”, he also notes that “changes in consumer habits, such as the advancement of e-commerce and teleworking, reduce the need for travel, which could have an impact on the demand for automobiles if these trends are consolidated ». .

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