Milan — New-car sales in Italy fell 98% in the first 24 days of April compared with the same period in 2019, an analysis of Italian transport ministry figures by research company Dataforce showed.
There were just 2,182 registrations in all sales channels, down from 107,930 last year.
The figures give an early look of what the rest of Europe can expect under lockdowns meant to curb the spread of the Covid-19. Showrooms in Italy were closed starting in early March, and most buyers who had ordered cars earlier were not able to take delivery.
Sales in March were already down by 85%.
The lockdown is about to be gradually lifted in Italy, and dealers will be permitted to fully reopen starting on 4 May.
Germany has already allowed showrooms to open, although they remain closed in the UK, France and Spain, Europe’s other largest auto markets.
UNRAE, which represents foreign automakers in Italy, reported similar figures. On 27 April the group said it expected car registrations to fall by up to 98% for the full month of April.