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European car sales show slight improvement in May

NFDA 17/06/2020

“It is interesting to see that new car registrations showed a slight improvement across Europe in May with a less severe decline than in April, as lockdown measures began to ease and dealers reopened.

“By comparison, while about 80% of dealerships have now reopened in England and reported two positive trading weeks, it is important to note that a lot of sales were boosted by pent-up demand.

“We will continue to monitor the situation very closely to ensure our industry receives the support it needs going forward”.   

Sue Robinson, Director of the National Franchised Dealers Association (NFDA) commenting on the latest ACEA figures.

New passenger car registrations fell by 52.3% in Europe in May according to the latest figures from the European Automobile Manufacturers' Association (ACEA). In April, sales had declined by -76.3%. 

The number of new cars sold across the European Union fell from 1,217,259 units in May 2019 to 581,161 in May this year. Each of the 27 EU markets showed a double-digit decline last month, although the decreases 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%). While dealerships in Germany in Italy were given the green light to reopen on 20 April and 4 May respectively, dealers in France and Spain started to gradually reopen later in May.

In the first five months of the year, EU demand for new passenger cars was down by 41.5%. Year to date, 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%.

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About the RMI

The Retail Motor Industry represents the interests of operators in England, Wales, Northern Ireland and the Isle of Man providing sales and services to motorists and businesses. The RMI has a formal association with the independent Scottish Motor Trade Association which represents the retail motor industry in Scotland.