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ACEA reports 23.7% drop in passenger car registrations in 2020

ACEA reports 23.7% drop in passenger car registrations in 2020

The EU passenger car market contracted by 23.7% to 9.9 million units as a direct result of the Covid‐19 pandemic in 2020, reports the European Automobile Manufacturers Association (ACEA). Covid-19 containment measures, including full scale lockdowns and other restrictions throughout the year, had an unprecedented impact on car sales across the European Union, according to ACEA.

ACEA represents the 16 major Europe-based car, van, truck and bus makers. These include: BMW Group, CNH Industrial, DAF Trucks, Daimler, Ferrari, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, Ford of Europe, Honda Motor Europe, Hyundai Motor Europe, Jaguar Land Rover, PSA Group, Renault Group, Toyota Motor Europe, Volkswagen Group, Volvo Cars, and Volvo Group.

2020 saw the biggest yearly drop in car demand since records began, with new‐car registrations falling by 3 million units compared to 2019. All 27 EU markets recorded double‐digit declines throughout 2020. Among the region’s biggest car markets, Spain posted the sharpest drop (‐32.3%), followed closely by Italy (‐27.9%) and France (‐25.5%), while full‐year losses were significant but less pronounced in Germany (‐19.1%).

ACEA also released the January 2021 edition of its ‘Vehicles in use’ report, which provides an extensive overview of the European motor vehicle fleet. Per country, it shows the number of vehicles in use for each segment, overing passenger cars, light commercial vehicles, medium and heavy commercial vehicles, and buses, and how that fleet developed in recent years.

The report provides interesting statistics per vehicle segment for each country, such as the average age (as well as the year of first registration), the share of each fuel type, and the number of vehicles per 1,000 inhabitants.

This new edition covers the 27 member states of the European Union, Norway, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.

Among the key findings of the report:

  • In 2019, the European Union passenger car fleet grew by 1.8% compared to 2018, with the number of cars on the road reaching 242.7 million. The highest growth was recorded in Romania (+7%), whereas the French car market contracted slightly (-0.3%).
  • Despite an increase in registrations in recent years, alternatively-powered cars make up just 4.6% of the total EU car fleet. 0.8% of all cars on EU roads are hybrid electric, while both battery electric and plug-in hybrids each account for only 0.2% of the total.
  • EU cars are now on average 11.5 years old. Lithuania, Estonia and Romania have the oldest fleets, with vehicles older than 16 years. The newest cars can be found in Luxembourg (6.5 years) and Austria (8.3 years).
  • More than 28 million vans are in circulation throughout the EU. With 6 million vehicles, France has by far the largest van fleet, followed by Italy (4.2 million vans), Spain (3.8 million) and Germany (2.8 million).
  • Diesel-powered light commercial vehicles are dominant in all EU countries except for Greece: almost 90% of the EU van fleet runs on diesel. Just 0.3% of vans in the EU are battery electric.
  • The average age of light commercial vehicles in the EU is 11.6 years. Among the EU’s four major markets, Spain has the oldest van fleet (13.0 years), followed closely by Italy (12.6 years).
  • There are 6.2 million medium and heavy commercial vehicles on EU roads. Counting almost 1.2 million trucks, Poland has the largest fleet, followed closely by Germany (1,010,742) and Italy (946,393).
  • 97.8% of all trucks in the EU run on diesel, while petrol fuels 1.3% of the fleet. 0.04% of trucks on the EU roads are zero-emissions.
  • Trucks are on average 13 years old in the European Union. Aged more than 21 years, Greek trucks are the oldest in the EU. The newest trucks are in Austria (6.4 years).
  • Around 692,207 buses are in operation throughout the European Union, almost half of which can be found in three countries alone: Poland, Italy and France.
  • Diesel buses still account for 94.5% the EU fleet, with only 0.6% being battery electric.
  • The average age of buses on EU roads is 11.7 years. The oldest buses can be found in Greece (19.9 years), while the newest ones are in Austria (4.8 years).