New passenger car registrations in the EU fell almost 21% year on year in March to 844,187 units, bringing the total sales for the first quarter to 2.2 million units, down 12% year on year, according to European Automobile Manufacturers Association (ACEA) data released April 20.
The March volume was, however, up 17% from February to a nine-month high, the data showed.
“The ongoing supply chain disruptions, further exacerbated by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, negatively affected car production,” the ACEA said, adding that this had resulted in most countries in the region recording double-digit drops in sales.
The largest EU car market, Germany, saw new car registrations drop almost 18% year on year in March to 241,330 units, which was 20% higher than the previous month, also at a nine-month high.
The second-largest market, France, saw sales for the month fall 20% on the year, but rise 28% on the month to 147,078 units, a three-month high.
Similarly, car sales in Italy dropped 30% on the year to 119,497 units, but climbed 7.8% from February to the highest level since June 2021.
In Spain, 59,920 units were sold in March, down 30% on the year and down 3.5% on the month.
Q1 volumes for the top four countries were 625,954 vehicles sold in Germany, down 4.6% on the year, 365,360 units in France, down 17%, 338,180 registrations in Italy, down 24% on the year and 59,920 sales in Spain, down 12%.
— Jacqueline Holman