2020 (May) Europe: Car Sales by EU, UK, EFTA Country

May 2020: new car sales in Europe contracted by 57%. Germany remained the largest market followed by Italy and France.

May 2020: new car sales in Europe contracted by 57%. Germany remained the largest market followed by Italy and France.

In May 2020, new passenger vehicle registrations in the European Union (EU), UK, and EFTA countries were down 57%. Car sales in Germany, Italy, and France were down by 50% while the UK was the worst-performing new car market in Europe in May 2020 with sales down by 89%. Cyprus was the “top” performer with sales down by only 29%. During the first five months of 2020, the European new car market contracted by 43%.

European Car Market Statistics 2020: January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, December

European New Car Market in May 2020

The European new car market including the EU, UK, and EFTA contracted by 56.8% in May 2020 to only 623,812 cars — more than 800,000 fewer cars than were sold in Europe in May 2019. In the European Union (EU) new car sales were down 52.3% to 581,161 cars.

Car sales are recovering slowly in Europe as some markets started to reopen during May 2020. In comparison, new passenger vehicle registrations in the European Union (EU) contracted by 76% to only 270,682 cars in April 2020.

During the first five months of 2020, new passenger vehicle registrations in Europe contracted by 43% to 3,969,714 — almost three million fewer cars than were sold during the same period in 2019.

Car Sales Per European Union, UK, EFTA Country in May 2020

New passenger vehicle registrations per European Union (EUK9, EFTA countries, and the UK according to car sales statistics released by the ACEA were as follows in May 2020:

May 2020May 2019% Change
AUSTRIA20,21130,574-33.9
BELGIUM34,75251,081-32.0
BULGARIA1,1273,641-69.0
CROATIA2,1779,161-76.2
CYPRUS7911,120-29.4
CZECH REPUBLIC13,38524,059-44.4
DENMARK11,43219,070-40.1
ESTONIA1,0602,801-62.2
FINLAND5,11010,891-53.1
FRANCE96,310193,948-50.3
GERMANY168,148332,962-49.5
GREECE4,49713,832-67.5
HUNGARY6,47214,210-54.5
IRELAND1,7466,320-72.4
ITALY99,711197,881-49.6
LATVIA7441,768-57.9
LITHUANIA2,0414,218-51.6
LUXEMBOURG3,0415,415-43.8
NETHERLANDS14,93436,601-59.2
POLAND21,14947,094-55.1
PORTUGAL5,74122,724-74.7
ROMANIA7,15513,011-45.0
SLOVAKIA4,1239,888-58.3
SLOVENIA5,0867,447-31.7
SPAIN34,337125,623-72.7
SWEDEN15,88131,919-50.2
EUROPEAN UNION (EU)581,1611,217,259-52.3
ICELAND5162,013-74.4
NORWAY7,99813,117-39.0
SWITZERLAND13,89028,060-50.5
EFTA22,40443,190-48.1
UNITED KINGDOM20,247183,724-89.0
TOTAL (EU + EFTA + UK)623,8121,444,173-56.8

Car Sales Per European Union, UK, EFTA Country – January to May 2020

New passenger vehicle registrations per European Union (EUK9, EFTA countries, and the UK according to car sales statistics released by the ACEA were as follows in the period January to May 2020:

1-5/20201-5/2019% Change
AUSTRIA86,111143,380-39.9
BELGIUM167,464260,444-35.7
BULGARIA7,87815,068-47.7
CROATIA13,25529,984-55.8
CYPRUS3,9665,395-26.5
CZECH REPUBLIC74,258106,596-30.3
DENMARK70,488101,512-30.6
ESTONIA7,53111,509-34.6
FINLAND39,36249,741-20.9
FRANCE481,986935,478-48.5
GERMANY990,3501,523,769-35.0
GREECE28,32152,424-46.0
HUNGARY45,31560,966-25.7
IRELAND51,89679,350-34.6
ITALY451,366910,872-50.4
LATVIA5,2977,873-32.7
LITHUANIA14,14718,854-25.0
LUXEMBOURG16,14525,934-37.7
NETHERLANDS133,235184,753-27.9
POLAND144,024233,282-38.3
PORTUGAL53,772103,290-47.9
ROMANIA39,45557,538-31.4
SLOVAKIA26,51342,679-37.9
SLOVENIA21,44034,155-37.2
SPAIN257,202561,930-54.2
SWEDEN100,938136,052-25.8
EUROPEAN UNION (EU)3,331,7155,692,828-41.5
ICELAND3,3695,930-43.2
NORWAY47,78162,857-24.0
SWITZERLAND78,724128,745-38.9
EFTA129,874197,532-34.3
UNITED KINGDOM508,1251,045,824-51.4
TOTAL (EU + EFTA + UK)3,969,7146,936,184-42.8

European Car Market in May 2020

After the 78% contraction of the European new car market in April 2020, the 57% contraction in May 2020 is a slight improvement. However, many car markets remained closed for much of the month while others operate under severe restrictions.

Germany remained by far the largest single-country car market in Europe with sales down only 49.5% in May 2020. The German market should be helped the rest of the year with the certainty that government incentives will not be applied to regular petrol and diesel cars and that there is little incentive to hold out for such tax largesses.

The British new car market was the worst performer in May 2020 with sales down 89% to just over 20,000 cars and only the seventh-largest car market in Europe. Year-to-date 2020, the UK remained at its traditional second place.

Car sales in Italy and France were halved in May 2020. Sales in Belgium were down by a third to move ahead of Spain, where car sales were down by 73%.

Although there is some pent-up demand for new cars in Europe after three difficult months, the general outlook for the European new car market remains negative. Although some countries have announced incentives, the German government shocked car producers by refusing tax help for regular petrol or diesel cars. Electric cars, for which huge subsidies are on offer, are simply not available for delivery for months with many models not available for delivery before 2021.

General economic uncertainty will continue to weigh heavily on the new car market for at least the rest of 2020.

European New Car Market in 2020

Sales and Market Analysis: