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Portugal March 2020: Coronavirus lockdown halts market -57.4%, Tesla Model 3 up to #2

A national COVID-19 lockdown has halted Portuguese new car sales.

Portugal is under national COVID-19 lockdown since March 19, initially scheduled to last until April 2 but extended to at least April 17. All non-essential businesses are closed to customers, restaurants can provide takeaway services and the government recommended that people work from home if possible. Confirmed cases increased 72% over the first week of April (from 7.442 to 12.442) which could trigger a longer lockdown. Accordingly, new car sales in the country freefall -57.4% year-on-year in March to just 10.596, pulling the year-to-date volume down -23.8% to 45.282.

Renault (-68%) keeps the brand lead but endures the harshest drop in the Top 10 while Mercedes (-24.9%) is up two spots on February to a superb 2nd place, managing the slimmest loss in the Top 4. BMW (-36.9%) is up 3 ranks to #3 and dispatches Peugeot (-65.7%) while Seat (-21.6%) and Toyota (-28.6%) also resist ok just below. Tesla (+53.2%) is the big winner this month, up 17 spots on February to break into the Portuguese Top 10 for the first time at #8. Tesla is one of only 3 carmakers in positive this month alongside Land Rover (+27.3%) and Bentley (+50%). Porsche (-25%), DS (-25.5%), Skoda (-27.3%), Mini (-29.8%), Volkswagen (-47.6%) and Dacia (-49.6%) also manage to keep their losses below the market rate.

The models ranking is reshuffled, with the Mercedes A-Class (-30.8%) snapping the top spot for the 5th time in the past 9 months and cementing its #2 spot YTD. The Tesla Model 3 (+63.2%) soars 68 spots on February to land at a record 2nd place, smashing its previous ranking record of #14 hit last September. Leader last month and YTD, the Renault Clio (-70.8%) is knocked down to #3 in March with the BMW 1 Series (-25.8%) and Toyota Yaris (-5.8%) rounding out the Top 5. Only the Seat Ibiza (-34.2%) outpaces the market in the remainder of the Top 10, with the Renault Captur (-70.5%), Megane (-63.4%) and Peugeot 2008 (-55%) hit particularly hard. The Ford Puma (#46) tops recent launches ahead of the Kia ProCeed (#78), Mercedes GLB (#79) and Mazda CX-30 (#80).

Previous post: Portugal January-February 2020: Renault Clio #1, Nissan Micra reaches record heights

One year ago: Portugal March 2019: Citroen (+8.2%) only gainer in Top 12, Fiat 500 (+49.5%) lands on podium in market down -10.8%

Full March 2020 Top 35 All-brands and Top 240 All-models below.

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