New-car sales in Europe fell 7.2% to 1.067 million vehicles in February, as weakening global economy, higher vehicle taxes and the coronavirus outbreak weighed on consumers’ appetite for new cars.
The decline comes after a 7.4% drop in January. The monthly drops mean car sales in Europe are off to their worst start to a year since 2013 and are poised to deteriorate further after automakers across the region shuttered plants to counter the coronavirus pandemic.
Sales fell for the second consecutive month in major European markets,
with Germany dropping 11%, Italy down 8.8%, the UK and France down 3%, and
Spain down 6%. Governments have shut borders, closed restaurants, and urged
people to shelter to slow the spread of the disease.In February :
– Volkswagen Group’s sales fell 4.4%, with the VW brand down 9.7%, and Audi down 4.6%. Bright spots for the gorup were Porsche, whose volume gained 70% after the brand recovered from supply bottlenecks last year and Seat, up 8.4%.
– Renault Group posted a drop of 14%.
– PSA Group registrations fell 8.5%.
– Fiat Chrysler sales fell 7%.
– Ford’s registrations dropped 20%.
– Toyota’s registrations grew 11% and Nissan’s registrations were down 5%
– Kia and Hyundai registrations were flat.
– The BMW brand rose 4.%, while demand for rival Mercedes-Benz fell 4%.