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Europe Car Sales Drop Most on Record in Year Vexed by Virus

  • Registrations slip 3.7% in December as Germany finishes strong
  • Electric vehicles were a bright spot in otherwise dismal 2020
BMW AG Showroom With Automaker Reporting Robust Earnings
Photographer: Andreas Gebert/Bloomberg
Updated on

European car sales plunged the most on record last year as relatively resilient demand in the second half did only so much to make up for the collapse during the initial outbreak of Covid-19.

New-vehicle registrations fell 24%, the European Automobile Manufacturers Association said Tuesday, the biggest annual drop since records began in 1990. A strong finish to the year for Volkswagen AG and PSA Group limited the industrywide decline in December to just 3.7%.