European new car sales drop by 20% year-on-year in February: ACEA

March 17, 2021 3:25 AM EDT

FILE PHOTO: Vauxhall cars are transported on a lorry in Luton, Britain March 6, 2017. REUTERS/Neil Hall

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BERLIN (Reuters) - European car registrations fell in February, industry data showed on Wednesday, as coronavirus lockdowns and accompanying uncertainty across Europe took a toll on sales.

New car registrations dropped by 20.3% year-on-year to 850,170 vehicles in the European Union, Britain and the countries of the European Free Trade Association (EFTA), figures from the European Automobile Manufacturers' Association (ACEA) showed.

Most European markets posted declines. Registrations in Spain registered a drop of 38%. Sales in France and Germany, fell by 21% and 19% respectively, while Italy reported a smaller drop of 12% in the month.

Sales at Volkswagen and Stellantis dropped by 19% and 22% respectively, while Renault reported a fall of 29%.

Luxury automakers also posted losses in February with sales at BMW falling 13% and rival Daimler reporting a 20% decline.

Europe's carmakers are counting on sales in China, which hasn't reintroduced a coronavirus lockdown, to boost 2021 sales, after a rebound in the world's largest market helped the industry recovered faster last year.

(Reporting by Riham Alkousaa; Editing by Caroline Copley)

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