Monthly car sales in Europe through April 2020

In April 2020, passenger car sales in Europe were down 78.3 percent year-on-year and almost 66 percent month-on-month. Just under 292,200 units were sold to customers in the European Union, the United Kingdom, Iceland, Norway, and Switzerland.

Pre-crisis sales

Changes in tax regulations resulted in a peak in December 2019 and weak sales figures in January 2020. Registrations of new passenger cars were already low due to consumer uncertainty and a weakening economy even before the coronavirus pandemic caused markets to tank in March and April 2020.

2020 European sales outlook

Sales of new passenger cars will be significantly lower than average for most months of the year in 2020, as the coronavirus pandemic is bringing some nations to a halt. Countries with strict lockdown measures will see sharp drops in sales as customers are restricted in travel and urged to stop all non-essential activity. The pandemic has also brought down productivity in many sectors, including vehicle manufacturing. This means many workers either lost their jobs entirely or are receiving only a portion of their normal income. As lockdown restrictions are lifted, some months may see a spike in sales from customers who had been planning to purchase vehicles. However, reduced expendable capital for many Europeans will likely mean that the passenger car market will take some time to warm up following the hibernation in times of COVID-19.

Monthly passenger car sales in Europe between November 2019 and April 2020

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Release date

May 2020



Survey time period

November 2019 through April 2020

Supplementary notes

Excludes Malta and Liechtenstein
EFTA markets (including Iceland, Norway, and Switzerland), EU-27, and UK markets.
The figures for November 2019 through March 2020 were taken from previous publications.
Values have been rounded.

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