Due to the major economic crisis stemming from COVID-19, the European car market will narrow 25% in 2020, the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA) said on Tuesday.

Car sales in the 27-member bloc is expected to drop by 3 million units, from 12.8 million in 2019 to 9.6 million in 2020, it stressed.

The association recalled that “following the first shockwaves of the crisis between mid-March and May, the EU market has contracted by 41.5% so far this year.”

“This situation is expected to ease to a certain extent in the coming months as lockdown and containment measures are lifted throughout the region,” it added.

The 2020 expectation represents the lowest car sales figures since 2013.

The auto industry employs 13.8 million Europeans, directly and indirectly, accounting for 6.1% of all jobs in the union.

The coronavirus, which originated in China last December, has spread to all around the world and become pandemic.

Measures to stem the virus, such as lockdowns and border restrictions, affected economic activities deeply, especially in the EU and US.

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