European new car sales see record drop

2020 saw the biggest yearly drop in European car demand since records began.

Industry data out on Tuesday (January 19) revealed new car registrations fell by nearly a quarter compared to 2019.

And the falls continued in December, for the third month in row.

Measures to control a second coronavirus wave hit sales in most of the continent's largest markets.

In December, overall new car registrations dropped by 3.7% year-on-year in the European Union, Britain and the countries of the European Free Trade Association.

Broken down though, sales in Europe's five largest markets posted differing results.

Registrations in the UK, France and Italy fell by 10%, 11% and 14% respectively.

while Germany recorded a rise of nearly 10% and sales in Spain remained unchanged year-on-year.

Sales at Volkswagen and PSA rose by 8.2% and 1.7% respectively.

But others including Renault reported losses.

Luxury automakers posted declines in December with BMW's sales falling 9.5%.

And rival Daimler reporting a 14.8% decline.

Video Transcript

2020 saw the biggest yearly drop in European car demand since records began. Industry data out on Tuesday revealed new car registrations fell by nearly a quarter compared to 2019. And the falls continued in December for the third month in a row. Measures to control a second coronavirus wave hit sales in most of the continent's largest markets. In December, overall new car registrations dropped by 3.7% year-on-year in the European Union, Britain, and the countries of the European Free Trade Association.

Broken down, though, sales in Europe's five largest markets posted differing results. Registrations in the UK, France, and Italy fell by 10%, 11%, and 14% respectively, while Germany recorded a rise of nearly 10%, and sales in Spain remained unchanged year-on-year. Sales at Volkswagen and PSA rose by 8.2% and 1.7% respectively. But others, including Renault, reported losses. Luxury automakers posted declines in December, with BMW sales falling 9.5%, and rival Daimler reporting a 14.8% decline.