New passenger car registrations in the EU over the last 12 months.
New passenger car registrations in the EU over the last 12 months.

By Kari Williamson

March alone saw a 7% decline from the previous year with 1.45m new cars. March registrations have not been at this level since 1998, ACEA says.

Italy (-26.7%), France (-23.2%) and Spain (-4.5%) saw their automotive markets contract, whereas the UK (+1.8%) and Germany (+3.4%) performed better than they did in the same month a year earlier.

From January to March, contrasting performance across countries led to an overall 7.7% drop. Looking at the major markets, the German (+1.3%) and British (+0.9%) slightly expanded, while the Spanish dropped by 1.9%, and Italy (-21.0%) and France (-21.6%) faced a much sharper downturn.