Car sales slump again in Europe amid renewed restrictions

After a one-month reprieve, passenger car sales in Europe slumped again in October amid new restrictions in many countries aimed at containing a resurgence of the coronavirus

The European industry registered 953,616 new cars last month, a decrease of 7.8%, and a reversal of fortunes after September marked the first increase of the year, ACEA said. Demand dropped by 21% in Spain, 9.5% in France and 3.6% in Germany.

It was flat in Italy, where the effect of government incentives ran out in September “confirming the insufficiency of funds allocated d by the government to help the auto industry,” Italy’s carmaker association, ANFIA said separately.

Only Ireland and Romania in the EU posted gains, at 5.4% and 17.6% respectively.

ACEA called the pandemic’s shrinkage of the car market “unprecedented,’’ with the year-to-date sales down nearly 27%, at some 8 million passenger cars, or 2.9 million units fewer than 2019. That outstrips losses in the 2009 financial crisis, which took six years to recover from even with government incentives.

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