Month after month, carmakers have posted record sales, creating the premises for hope that the trend would continue for years to come. As fate would have it, the coronavirus pandemic put a stop to all that.
Over the past few months, as the epidemic apparently died out in China, the new epicenter of the crisis moved to Europe. That in turn caused continent-wide closure of businesses, including manufacturing facilities in the auto sector.
That, combined with the fact that buying a car is no longer a priority for most people, led to disastrous sales results in February. As per the numbers compiled by specialist JATO Dynamics, sales figures for February in Europe are at the lowest level for the month since 2015.
More to the point, there were a little over 1 million cars sold in February 2020 in Europe, a drop of 7 percent compared to the same month of last year, and just a touch above the figure posted in February 2015.
Expectations are the numbers would continue to decline in the coming months. When the numbers for March are ready, we should expect to see a drastic drop, considering that this is the month when the entire industry was derailed by the pandemic.
"The situation is rapidly deteriorating in Europe due to complex regulation, lack of available homologated cars, and increasing pressure on the economy. All of these factors are having a detrimental impact on consumer confidence," said in a statement Felipe Munoz, global analyst at JATO Dynamics.
The only good news coming out of February is that sales of electric cars continue to grow, jumping by 80 percent compared to January 2020, to a total of 135,500.
Full details on the status of the European auto industry in February 2020 can be read in the document attached below.