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Netherlands May 2020: Volume drop worsens to -59.4%, Kia places Niro and Picanto on top

The Kia Niro is the best-seller in the Netherlands so far in 2020. Picture autoverhaal.nl

The Netherlands did not completely lock down its economy in March-April and therefore had until now enjoyed relatively smaller new sales drops (-24.6% in March and -53% in April). But now that most of Europe has eased lockdowns, Dutch new car sales are actually worsening with May deliveries down -59.4% to 14.934 units, pulling the year-to-date tally down -27.9% to 133.325. This means the Netherlands is now faring worse than Italy (-49.4%) or France (-50.3%) in May. This is a new trend, that we have also observed in Sweden as we’ll detail a little later today: some European countries that did not impose strict COVID-19 movement restrictions and business closures seem to now have their new car market more affected than those who did and have already eased their restrictions. In the case of the Netherlands, this is happening even as the virus is now pretty much under control, with 46.442 confirmed cases as of May 31 vs. 39.316 as of April 30.

Among the few reasons that could explain this worsening are stock shortages and deteriorating economic conditions that may discourage buyers from visit car showrooms, but more likely it could be postponed sales in the wake of government premiums of 4.000€ for the purchase of a new electric car and 2.000€ for a used one, starting July 1. For now, Kia (-24.8%) continues to perform markedly better than the Dutch market, accessing the brands pole position for the second time this year – and ever – after last February. Volkswagen (-61.3%) is knocked down to #2 but remains in the YTD lead, while Peugeot (-52%) is faithful to the third spot it holds YTD. Hyundai (-52.9%) and Citroen (-54.5%) also manage to outpace the market in the remainder of the Top 10 but Opel (-71.3%), BMW (-67%), Toyota (-66.6%) and Ford (-62.7%) struggle.

Model-wise, the Kia Niro (-42.2%) is the best-seller for the third time in the past 4 months – and ever – and earns the YTD top spot as a result, toppling the VW Polo (-70.5%) down to #5 for the month. In fact Kia signs a first ever 1-2 this month with the Picanto (-34.9%) in 2nd place. The Renault Clio (-43.5%) and Peugeot 108 (-37.6%) follow, while the VW T-Roc (-29.1%), Hyundai Kona (-41.2%) and VW Golf (-42.8%) also outmanoeuvre the market in the remainder of the Top 10. Below, the Nissan Leaf (+23%), Kia Stonic (+8.7%), Opel Corsa (-0.7%), Kia Ceed (-3%), Skoda Kodiaq (-11%) and Suzuki Ignis (-11.1%) stand out while the Mazda CX-30 tops recent launches at #33.

Previous month: Netherlands April 2020: Kia (-22.5%) resists best, places Niro #1 in market down -53%

One year ago: Netherlands May 2019: VW Polo overtakes Ford Focus for #1 YTD, market down -0.3%

Full My 2020 Top 40 All-brands and Top 230 All-models below.

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