The corona virus still has a firm grip on the European car market. In the USA and China, on the other hand, demand is already picking up again.
The demand for new cars in Europe remains weak, but the auto economy is recovering in the USA and China is already back on a growth path, as the new registration statistics for the first quarter of 2021 show.
In Europe, around 3,1 million new cars rolled onto the streets in the first three months, according to the industry association VDA. Compared to the historically weak quarter of the previous year, this corresponds to an increase of one percent. The increase is primarily the result of significant growth in Italy (plus 29 percent) and France (plus 21 percent). In the other three of the five largest markets, the result was clearly negative: 12 percent fewer vehicles were newly registered in the United Kingdom and 15 percent in Spain. Germany did a little better with minus 6 percent.
In the USA, on the other hand, new car sales increased by 11 percent to around 3,9 million units in the first quarter. Pick-ups and off-road vehicles in particular were in demand; demand for classic cars fell by 5 percent compared to the same period in the previous year. The Chinese market posted a big plus, with 5 million new cars sold around 76 percent more than in the first quarter of 2020. At that time, however, the lockdown caused the Chinese market to collapse as early as February.