Oxford, UK – World car registrations in February 2020 were down 19.9% compared with the same month in 2019 at 5.08m units, according to LMC Automotive. Higher US sales could not compensate for an 80% fall in car sales in China.
US sales rose by 8.3% in February and reached 1.4m units. In the same month in 2019 US dealers sold 1.3m units. This was due to a freak calendar coincidence which saw February have 29 days and five week ends. Most purchases happen on Saturday and Sunday in the US. Adjusting for this the rate of sales was flat compared with January. This is equivalent to 16.8m units over the course of 2020, according to LMC Automotive.
Meanwhile, in China, according to LMC Automotive, sales hit 0.3m units. This is down 80.4% on January. Large areas of China were quarantined in February and the Chinese New Year holiday was extended in a bid to slow the spread of coronavirus. In the same month in 2019 Chinese dealers sold 1.4m units. LMC Automotive said that the Chinese National Association of Automobile Manufacturers said 90% of OEMs have restarted manufacturing and that 70% of the workforce is now at their jobs.
At the same time, in Western Europe sales were 1.1m units. This is lower than the amount sold in February 2019 by 7%. Volumes were lower because a number of automotive sales were bought forward to the end of 2019 and uncertainty over coronavirus also affected sales, said LMC Automotive.