EU auto industry faces huge losses
June 5, 2020 - Coronavirus lockdowns have crippled the European car industry -- with assembly and production plants closed and car sales halted. Combined EU and UK losses amount to more than 2.4 million vehicles.
This figure includes passenger cars, trucks, vans, buses and coaches, according to the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA). EU-wide production losses due to factory shutdowns in 17 EU countries and the United Kingdom since mid-March amount to at least 2,446,344 motor vehicles, reports ACEA.
The average shutdown duration is 30 working days, with a total of 537 days of production lost since mid-March.
The European Commission’s proposed €750bn ($835bn) recovery package has been described by European automobile manufacturers as “vague” on financial support for their sector.
“It is disappointing to see that the proposed recovery package remains quite brief and vague on the instruments and financial means for the recovery of the European auto industry,” said the director-general of ACEA, Eric-Mark Huitema. He noted that manufacturers are far from a “done” deal.
New car sales have fallen drastically. The UK automotive market in April experienced its worst-ever month as the pandemic closed showrooms and dealerships, causing new car sales to fall by 97.3 per cent year on year. New car sales in France fell by 88.8 per cent on the year in April, and the Italian market fell by 97.5 per cent from last year.
There are 142 factories in Europe that produce passenger cars, 38 which make light commercial vehicles (vans), 58 others build heavy-duty vehicles (trucks), 58 produce buses, and 71 make engines.