Car registrations down -41% in the world but up 2% for China in April 2020

Sales have increased in China in April, helped by consumers seeking to avoid buses and trains. European car associations are asking for recovery policies to minimize the economic impact for 2020 and accelerate the digital & carbon-neutral economy.

- Pascal Serres

In April 2020, new passenger vehicle registrations posted a year on year decline of 41% and 30% for the first 4 months.


Registrations of new passenger cars in the European Union decline dramatically to 76% for the first full month with COVID-19 restrictions in place, resulted in the strongest monthly drop in car demand since records began. Each of the 27 EU markets recorded double-digit declines in April, but Italy and Spain endured the biggest losses, with car registrations falling by 97.6% and 96.5% respectively. Looking at the other major markets, demand dropped by 61.1% in Germany, while France saw an 88.8% contraction in April.

Other markets

The other major markets including the USA, Japan & India were down 47, 55 and 54% respectively.

Car registrations stats, 4 months into 2020 (Major countries)



China, the largest new car market in the world, rose for the first time in almost two years after the country opened up for business again, fuelling expectations of an industry recovery from the coronavirus. The figures support growing optimism that the world’s largest auto market is on the mend after China largely contained the coronavirus pandemic that shut down much of its economy: sales had increased in China, helped by consumers seeking to avoid buses and trains. Chinese authorities have also introduced a slew of measures to prop up car sales.

What's next for Europe?

Meantime, the four associations representing the full automotive supply chain in Europe from equipment and tyre suppliers, to vehicle manufacturers, to dealers and workshops (ACEA, CECRA, CLEPA and ETRMA) are demanding a coordinated action plan at EU and national decision makers. Together, they want to contribute to a policy response to COVID-19 that ensures public health, minimises the impact on the economy and maintains focus on the strategic objectives of our time: the digital and carbon-neutral society.

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