ACEA forecasts record 25% drop in car sales
The European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA) predists that the market for cars in Europe will be down a quarter in 2020. The association revised its forecast radically due to the economic challenges the COVID-19 pandemic poses to the auto industry. Around 3 million fewer cars will be sold in 2020 according to the forecast. EU sales numbered 12.8 million in 2019, but are now forecast to be as low as 9.6 million in 2020.
After the shock of anti-pandemic actions between mid-March and May, the EU market contracted 41.5 per cent in 2020 year-to-date. May car sales in the UK were only one-tenth of those in May 2019, as the country endured a second full month of coronavirus lockdown. As containment measures are relaxed around Europe, the ACEA expects the situation to ease in the coming months. However ACEA’s 2020 forecast represents the lowest number of new cars sold since 2013, when the industry had come through six consecutive years of decline in the aftermath of the 2008-2009 financial crisis. In terms of percentage change, the bleak outlook represents the sharpest drop ever witnessed by Europe’s automobile sector.
“ACEA maintains hope that this dramatic scenario can be mitigated through fast and strong measures by the EU and national governments,” stated ACEA director general, Eric-Mark Huitema. “Given the unprecedented collapse in sales to date, purchase incentives and scrappage schemes are urgently required right across the EU to create much-needed demand for new cars. In the interest of our industry and the wider EU economy, we are calling for the necessary political and economic support – both on the EU as well as the member state levels – in order to limit the damage to production and employment over the months to come.”