ACEA, the association representing 16 car, bus, truck and van makers with operations in Europe, has radically revised downward their 2020 forecast for passenger car sales after the coronavirus pandemic led to a collapse in demand.
Sales are forecast to fall by 25% to 9.6 million in the EU from 12.8 million in 2019, ACEA said last week. That would be the lowest number of cars sold in the EU since 2013 after Europe emerged from the 2008-09 financial crisis. The decline this year will halt a six-year run of gains starting in 2014.
Europe’s auto industry has been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic, with factories and showrooms closed for all or parts of March, April and May. IHS Markit expects that sales will fall by 25% in all of Europe, while LMC Automotive forecasts that western Europe sales will fall by 26%.
AlixPartners is forecasting that European sales will fall even further, by 32%, and Moody’s is predicting a 30% decline.
ACEA expects sales to slightly recover in the coming months as lockdowns end and business slowly returns to normal. Countries including France and Germany are rolling out incentives and scrapping programs to boost the market, with an emphasis on electrified and fuel-efficient vehicles