File picture: Newspress.
File picture: Newspress.

Green shoots as Europe records first vehicle sales growth of 2020

By Staff Reporter Time of article published Oct 16, 2020

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BRUSSELS - September was the first month of 2020 in which there was an increase in new car sales in the European Union, an industry group reported on Friday.

Just under 934 000 vehicles were sold in the bloc last month, up 3.1 percent year-on-year, the European Automobile Manufacturers Association (ACEA) said.

Among biggest EU markets, September sales readings were positive in Italy (+9.5 percent) and Germany (+8.4 percent), and negative in Spain (-13.5 per cent) and France (-3 percent), ACEA said.

Looking at the January-September period, the market was still heavily depressed, with year-on-year sales down by almost 29 percent, to around 7 million vehicles.

The coronavirus pandemic has had a major impact on the European automotive sector, with sales tanking in lockdown months: in April, for example, they collapsed by more than 75 percent.

The Volkswagen group remains the EU market leader, with a 25.7 percent share of sales in the first nine months of 2020, ACEA said.

France's PSA Group (which owns Peugeot, Citroen and Opel) was second in the rankings with a share of 15.3 per ent, followed by Renault on 11.5 percent, Hyundai on 7.2 percent, and BMW and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, both on 6.5 percent.


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