Car sales drop by 16.2 in 2020 due to COVID-19

The Romanian automotive industry is being ravaged by the COVID-19 epidemic: Car manufacturers have been hit hard as demand for new vehicles has fallen; meanwhile, demand for used cars remained high but well below the average sales threshold recorded in 2019.

The numbers indicate a significant drop in overall car registrations last year, the latest data released by the General Directorate for Driving Licenses and Car Registration reveals (via Székelyhon):

Last year, slightly more than 500,000 car ownership transactions were

registered nationwide, which compares to 600,000+ recorded in 2019.

Car sales peaked in 2017 in Romania, when they reached an all-time high of 627,753 cars sold, followed by 604,535 in 2018 and 606,163 in 2019. However, the COVID-19 outbreak has suffocated this market as well as many others: Only 507,846 car sales were registered in 2020, a 16.2 percent drop compared to the previous year.

Used car sales accounted for the majority of overall car sales last year at 75.1 percent (or 381,495)  —  down 14.2 percent. Sales of “green” cars also slowed, dropping 21.8 percent. Gas-powered cars dominated the used car market with 66 percent of overall sales, followed by diesel cars at 26.9 percent.

Hybrid and electric cars took the remaining 7.1 percent (8,902 vehicles) of last year’s car sales.

The top choice of new car buyers was the Dacia brand, followed by Skoda, Renault, Volkswagen and Ford. As for used car buyers, the most popular brand was Volkswagen, with BMW ranking second, followed by Audi, Ford and Opel.

Car sales in 2020 also matched the national trend in Hargita/Harghita County, although the total number of registrations (22,630) surpassed the 2018 record. Of those, only 10,601 of these were first-time registrations, while the rest were change of ownership. As a result, the total number of vehicles in circulation is nearing 150,000 in Hargita County.

Title image: Pixabay

Author: István Fekete