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Netherlands March 2020: Skoda (+19.8%), Mini (+32.1%) only Top 20 gainers in market down -24.6%

Skoda sales are up 19.8% thanks to the new Scala (pictured) and Kamiq.

Unlike neighbouring France and Germany, Netherlands has so far chosen to not resort to strict population confinement measures but wide-ranging business shutdown have been in place since March 13. Car dealerships remain open in the country mainly for servicing, but physical distancing rules meant traffic in showrooms has ground to a halt. March sales are down -24.6% year-on-year to 29.496 and year-to-date volumes now down -11.1% tp 103.203. According to local automotive associations RAI and BOVAG, the March slowdown is mainly due to the fact that the traditional peak in registrations by dealers and importers failed to materialise at the end of a month or quarter, but the COVID-19 impact will become a lot more apparent in the coming months.

The Top 3 brands resist much better than the market: Volkswagen (-10.7%) is in the lead above Toyota (-5.4%) and Kia (-6.1%). Skoda (+19.8%) is actually up this month, the only Top 15 brand in this situation. Mercedes (-11.3%), BMW (-19.9%) and Ford (-20.9%) also gain share in the remainder of the Top 10 but Opel (-46.5%), Peugeot (-31.6%) and Renault (-31%) aren’t so lucky. Further down, Ferrari (+33.3%), Mini (+32.1%), Bentley (+30%) and Porsche (+9.6%) are the only additional volume gainers while Land Rover (-13.7%), Audi (-14.6%), Seat (-16.2%) and Suzuki (-19%) limit their fall.

In fitting Elon Musk fashion, the Tesla Model 3 (-39%) uses the stockmarket-friendly end-of-quarter period to rush registrations and land in the Dutch pole position in March vs. a paltry #70 in February and even though it falls almost twice faster than the market. This is the 6th time the Model 3 leads the Dutch charts after March, June, September, November and December 2019. In a weak month it’s however far from enough to grab the YTD top spot as the Model 3 can only muster a lukewarm #11 ranking. The Kia Niro (+9.2%) and Renault Clio (-7.2%) are both nudged down one spot on February to #2 and #3 respectively, and it’s the VW Polo (-15.5%), #4 in March, that holds onto the YTD top spot so far in 2020. It’s not all doom and gloom: The Mini (+52.9%), Mercedes A-Class (+28.7%), Toyota Corolla (+27.3%), Toyota Yaris (+8.9%), Ford Fiesta (+4.8%), Hyundai Kona (+3.1%) and Volvo XC40 (+1.2%) all manage a gain in the Top 20.

Previous month: Netherlands February 2020: Kia and Niro score first ever wins, Opel Ampera-e in Top 10

One year ago: Netherlands March 2019: Tesla Model 3 best-seller, 1.000 units above Ford Focus

Full March 2020 Top 40 All-brands and Top 240 All-models below.

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