New passenger car registrations in Germany down 35 pct in first half of 2020

New passenger car registrations in Germany fell by almost 35 percent to 1.21 million cars in the first half of 2020, based on figures by the Federal Motor Transport Authority (KBA), the German Association of the Automotive Industry (VDA) announced on Friday.

The number of new passenger car registrations was the lowest figure for a first half year in Germany since the country’s reunification 30 years ago, VDA noted. The effects of the coronavirus pandemic had “caused a slump in automotive markets worldwide.”

“The collapse of the markets is unprecedented in its scale and global scope,” said VDA President Hildegard Mueller during the association’s half-yearly press conference.

For 2020, VDA is expecting the global passenger car market to decline by 17 percent year-on-year to 65.9 million units. With 24 percent, the decline would be “particularly severe” in Europe.

For Germany, VDA is expecting a similar decline by 23 percent to around 2.8 million new passenger car registrations in 2020. In contrast, the slump in the United States, at 18 percent, and China, at only 10 percent, would be less pronounced.

Passenger car production in Germany in the first half of the year even fell to the lowest level in 45 years caused by a “dramatic slump” in demand, temporary disruption of supply chains and weeks of production stoppages due to the COVID-19 crisis.

From January to June, only 1.5 million vehicles were produced in Germany, 40 percent less than in the same time last year. For 2020, VDA forecasted domestic passenger car production to decline by 25 percent to 3.5 million units.

“The massively lower production has serious consequences not only for manufacturers, but especially for many medium-sized suppliers,” stressed Mueller. The number of employees could continue to decline until the end of the year.