In the light of which it terms “the major economic crisis facing the auto industry due to COVID-19”, the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA) has radically revised its 2020 forecast for passenger car registrations down by around 25%.
This effectively means that the industry association expects car sales in the European Union (EU) to tumble by more than three million from 12.8 million units in 2019 to some 9.6 million units this year.
Following the first shockwaves of the crisis between mid-March and May, the EU market has contracted by 41.5% so far this year. This situation is expected to ease to a certain extent in the coming months as lockdown and containment measures are lifted throughout the region.
Nonetheless, in terms of volumes, ACEA’s forecast for 2020 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.
Fast and strong measures required
ACEA director general, Eric-Mark Huitema said: “ACEA maintains hope that this dramatic scenario can be mitigated through fast and strong measures by the EU and national governments.
“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.”