Sales of new cars increased by 535 thousand in March compared to last year. In the first three months of the year, the growth reached 0.849% yoy . The smallest decline was seen in Italy (499%) while sales in Netherlands dropped the most (-18.0%). Volkswagen Group sold the most cars in March 2021 in Europe, some 341 thousand vehicles representing 24.6% of the European market.
The strong performance in March 2021 is a result of last year’s exceptionally low base of comparison caused by the strict COVID-19 restrictions introduced in most markets in March 2020. During the first quarter of 2021, EU demand for new cars grew by 3.2% to reach 2.6 mil units. Despite steep declines during the first two months of the year (-24.0% in January and -19.3% in February), March’s strong results managed to offset the negative trend.
In March, most vehicles (292 thousand) were sold in Germany (up 35.9% yoy), followed by the United Kingdom (284 thousand, up 11.5%), France with 183 thousand cars (up 192%), 170 thousand new vehicles were registered in Italy (up 499%) and 85.8 thousand in Spain (up 128%). The five largest countries accounted for 66.9% of total new vehicles registered in March 2021.
In relative terms, sales in Italy (+499%) and France (+192%) declined the least compared to a year ago, whereas registration in Netherlands and Iceland dropped the most (-18.0% and -11.2% yoy), in March 2021, according to ACEA.
Volkswagen Group sold the most cars in March 2021 in Europe, some 341 thousand vehicles representing 24.6% of the European market. Sales of PSA Group amounted to 212 thousand vehicles (or 15.3% of the market) while Renault Group and BMW Group held 7.80% and 7.50% of the European market in March. Overall, the five largest manufacturers sold 62.3% of all new cars in March.