January 2021 was the worst start of the year for the EU’s automobile industry on record, the latest data by the European Automobile Manufacturers Association (ACEA) show.
Only 726,491 new cars were sold, which is an almost 25% drop compared to January 2020, when 956,447.
France and Sweden were the only two countries in which sales went up, according to the data, with some other markets dropping by more than 50% (Spain, Romania and Slovakia).
In Belgium, the number dropped by 27.2%, which is a bigger loss than the EU average.
The numbers may seem to contrast ACEA’s prediction in early February that “2021 will mark a first step on the path to recovery, with sales rising by about 10% compared to 2020,” but they specified that “the car market should pick up in the second half of the year as vaccination programmes progress.”
While car sales went down last year, motorcycle sales, conversely, increased - by as much as 8.1% in the case of used vehicles, and a 1.5% increase for new motorcycles.
The Brussels Times