The COVID-19 pandemic has put many sectors of economic activity in crisis. Tourism, restaurants and the automotive sector were among those that suffered the most losses with the total drop in sales in many countries, namely in Portugal.
With regard to the automobile segment, losses were huge across Europe, but it seems that there is little hope for electric cars.
Auto manufacturers and sellers had a month in April that completely razed the business. In Portugal, for example, only 1,238 cars were manufactured and, for the first time, light commercial cars were not produced. This represents a drop of 95.7% compared to the same period last year.
According to data from Jato Dynamics, on March 16, car sales were completely suppressed, which contributed to a 57% drop in car sales in Portugal, only in March, when compared to March 2019. In Italy, a major producer of cars and where the virus first came, the drop in car sales in the same period reached 86%.
The study indicates that in this period car sales fell to levels reached 38 years ago. In addition, globally, passenger car registrations fell by 52%.
Electric cars continue to be sold
The scenario is not at all encouraging. The pandemic has left marks that, in some cases, will not be repairable. In addition, there is an important change taking place that manufacturers should be aware of. More and more people are looking for plug-in hybrid and electric cars. In the case of plug-in hybrids, there was even a slight increase in sales in Europe.
In April 2019, electric cars represented 7% of existing vehicles. Now, that figure in Europe, amounts to 17%.
Overall, the Tesla Model 3 was the best-selling electric in Europe and also the second best-selling car, just behind the Volkswagen Golf.
The reduction of greenhouse gas emissions remains a target for Europe and this has contributed to the choice of less polluting cars, which also justifies this trend.