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European new car sales down 22.3pc in June

New passenger car sales in the EU dropped in June compared to the same month last year, but did show a slight improvement over May 2020.

Figures from the European Automobile Manufacturers Association (ACEA) show new car registrations in June totalled 949,722 units, a drop of 22.3 per cent compared to June 2019, when 1,222,942 cars were sold.

However, this does mark a slight improvement over May 2020, which saw a drop of 52.3 per cent across the European Union. Although dealerships opened for business again after lockdown measures were lifted, consumer demand did not fully recover last month.

All EU markets continued to post significant declines in June, with France (+1.2%) being the only exception to the rule. The latter can be explained by the new incentives to stimulate sales of low-emission vehicles that were introduced by the French government at the beginning of June.

Looking at the other major car markets, Spain (-36.7%), Germany (-32.3%) and Italy (-23.1%) all recorded double-digit drops last month.

Over the first half of this year, EU demand for new passenger cars contracted by 38.1 per cent, the result of four consecutive months of unprecedented declines across the region. Among the four major EU markets, Spain saw the biggest decline (-50.9%) so far this year, followed by Italy (-46.1%), France (-38.6%) and Germany (-34.5%).