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Black March: Car Sales Drop by a Record 39 Percent Globally

There is still no way to tell precisely how the current health crisis will impact the world’s economy, but the projections are already dire. As the numbers for the first full month of extensive lockdowns are being processed, those projections start to become real.
German carmakers surpass Tesla when it comes to car sales despite overall drop 1 photo
Like most other areas of human activity, the automotive industry has been heavily impacted by the crisis as well. A drop in sales began to be felt ever since the beginning of the year, but in March it reached a peak, at least so far.

According to auto industry business intelligence company JATO Dynamics, the global tally shows a huge drop of 39 percent compared to the same month of last year, to a total of 5.55 million new cars. According to JATO, this is the largest year-on-year decrease since it started collecting data in 1980.

“This downward trend is not simply due to the restrictions of free movement. The industry is being impacted largely by the uncertainty for the future, and this issue started to arise even before the pandemic took hold,” said in a statement Felipe Munoz, JATO’s global analyst.

The numbers show Europe has taken the biggest hit as a result of the crisis, a free fall of 52 percent to the lowest level achieved in nearly four decades. Of the total cars sold, just about 850,000 new cars were registered in Europe in March.

Despite the dropping numbers, the sales of electrified cars are actually on the rise, and they increased by 15 percent, reaching a new record market share of 17.4 percent. Tesla lost the title of locomotive in this segment for the month, being surpassed by electrified vehicles branded by the German golden trio, Mercedes-Benz, Volkswagen, and BMW.

There is no way of telling which way things will go for the coming months, but it is to be expected that the numbers for April will show a severe drop as well.

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