EU car sales fall again in February

Volkswagen export cars are seen in the port of Emden March 9, 2018. — Reuters pic
Volkswagen export cars are seen in the port of Emden March 9, 2018. — Reuters pic

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PARIS, March 17 — New car sales in Europe continued to suffer from the coronavirus crisis in February, falling 19.3 per cent from a year earlier as health restrictions dampened demand, an industry survey showed today.

While the slump was very sharp it was less than the 24 per cent drop previously reported for January by the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA).

“In February 2021, new passenger car registrations in the European Union dropped by 19.3 per cent as COVID containment measures and uncertainty continue to weigh heavily on demand,” the ACEA said in its latest monthly report.

“With 771,486 units registered across the EU region, this marked the lowest February total on record since 2013.”

In the main markets, Italy was down 12.3 per cent, Germany, the biggest, dropped 19 per cent while France lost 20.9 per cent and Spain 38.4 per cent.

For January to February, total registrations of new cars in the European Union were 21.7 per cent lower than during the same period in 2020, the ACEA said.

In the UK, car sales in February slumped 35.5 per cent, it added.

Among the top marques, Renault was down 27.9 per cent in February while Volkswagen shed 17.4 per cent and Stellantis, the new group formed by Peugeot and Fiat-Chrysler, dropped 21.7 per cent. — AFP

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