The European car market, hit in the spring by the health crisis, fell again by 18.9% over one year in August, a sign of its slow and difficult recovery, according to figures released Thursday.
French groups did a little worse than average last month. The Renault group (with Dacia, Lada and Alpine) suffered a decline of 24.7% of its registrations compared to August 2019, while PSA (Peugeot, Citroën, Opel / Vauxhall, DS) recorded a decrease of 20, 8%, the Association of European Automobile Manufacturers (ACEA) said in a statement.
After collapsing 55.1% in March, 76.3% in April, then 52.3% in May under the effect of the confinement of populations and the closure of car shops, the European market is recovering hardly any consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic.
August marks a deterioration compared to July, when it fell only 5.7% over one year, benefiting from government stimulus measures adopted in several major European countries, including Germany, France and Spain.
In the first eight months of the year, only 6.12 million new passenger cars were put on the roads of the European Union, almost 2.9 million less than last year over the same period.
The ACEA expects a historic drop of 25% in deliveries over the whole year. Before the pandemic, in January, the organization which brings together 16 manufacturers active in Europe, forecast a decline of 2% after six consecutive years of growth which had brought the market close to its highest levels.
In this very degraded context, the European automotive industry is now worried about a possible failure of negotiations on a post-Brexit agreement between the EU and the United Kingdom. She warned Monday that such a scenario would represent for her a commercial loss estimated at 110 billion euros over five years which would be added to the loss of production linked to the pandemic which she estimates at 100 billion euros.
In the list of manufacturers, the Volkswagen group (with Skoda, Audi, Seat and Porsche), still undisputed number one in Europe, saw its deliveries fall by 24.3% in August. But over eight months its market share has further increased by 0.8 points to 26.1%.
It is clearly ahead of its runner-up PSA, whose market share has fallen by 1.6 points to 15.3% since the start of the year.
The Renault group completes the European podium, but also fell more than the average between January and August, its market share falling by 0.4 point to 11.5%.