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Austria March 2020: COVID-19 lockdown hits market down -66.7%, Tesla Model 3 #1

The Tyrolean ski resort of Ischgl was placed in quarantine on March 13.

9/04 update: Now with Top 20 models.

As early as March 1, the Tyrolean ski resort town of Ischgl was identified as a major European coronavirus hotspot, and Tyrolean authorities placed the town in quarantine on March 13. A national lockdown followed in the whole of Austria from March 16 onwards. As a result, Austrian new car sales fall off a cliff in March at -66.7% year-on-year to 10.654 units, leading to a year-to-date tally down -32.4% to 54.680. However there is already a glimmer of hope in Austria, with infections rising by just 21% over the first week of April to 12.297. As such, on April 6 Austria became the first EU country to publicly announce plans to lift its restrictions, with the aim to open smaller shops up to 400 square metres from April 14, larger shops from May 1 and hotels, restaurants and other services from mid-May. Even with this positive outlook, it means new car sales won’t be able to resume for good for another 60 days which in turns means the rest of Europe probably won’t start shaking itself off before the start of June.

The Tesla Model 3 is #1 in Austria for the first time.

In March, Volkswagen (-69.7%) easily holds onto the brands pole position with 14.9% share, distancing Skoda (-51.9%), BMW (-55.5%) and Hyundai (-50.4%) all faring better than the market. This is also the case for Tesla (-45.2%) up 13 spots on February to #9, Audi (-60.2%) and Mercedes (-62.4%) but Renault (-78.4%), Seat (-72.6%) and Ford (-71.6%) implode in the remainder of the Top 10. Further down, Porsche (+29%) and DS (+16.7%) brave the adverse conditions while Ssangyong (-5%), Mini (-34.3%), Subaru (-42.5%), Toyota (-46.7%), Suzuki (-56.5%) and Land Rover (-57.7%) resist somewhat.

The new Suzuki Jimny breaks into the Austrian Top 20 in March.

Model-wise, the Tesla Model 3 (-47.1%) is #1 overall for the very first time, smashing its previous record of #4 established a year ago in March 2019. The Skoda Octavia (-69.9%) remains at #2, the VW Bus (-52.2%) is up 10 spots on February to #3 and the VW Golf (-74.2%), leader last month, is down to #4 above the Skoda Fabia (-56.8%). The Suzuki Jimny (+12.8%) makes a very rare appearance inside the Austrian Top 20 at #18 thanks to the new model while the Skoda Superb (-16.7%), Mini (-34.3%), Skoda Karoq (-36.3%) and Hyundai i30 (-40.1%) all manage to lose less ground than the market in the remainder of the Top 20.

Previous month: Austria February 2020: VW Golf signs first win in a year, Mercedes (+34.3%), Hyundai (+26.3%) shine in market down -10.9%

One year ago: Austria March 2019: Tesla Model 3 up to #4 in market down -9.7%

Full March 2020 Top 45 All-brands and Top 20 models below.

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