The EU’s passenger car market shrank 41.5% in the January-May period this year compared to the same period last year, an industry group said on Wednesday.

Automobile registrations across the 27-member bloc stood at 3.33 million in the first five months of 2020, the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA) announced.

Car registrations decreased in all major markets, by 54.2% in Spain, 50.4% in Italy and 48.5% in France.

“The contraction of the German market was slightly less severe, with registrations down 35% over the first five months of 2020,” it noted.

The EU is the main automotive export market for Turkey, where top international automakers — Ford, Honda, Hyundai, Mercedes, Renault, and Toyota, among others — are operating.

In May, the European passenger car market posted another ‘sharp drop’, by 52.3%, year-on-year.

“Although COVID-19 lockdown measures were eased in many countries last month, the number of new cars sold across the European Union fell from 1.2 million units in May,” it added.

The coronavirus, which first appeared in China last December, has spread to 188 countries and regions across the world, hitting the EU and the US economies deeply.

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