New passenger car registrations in Germany dropped by 38 percent in March to 215,100, compared with the same month last year, the German Association of the Automotive Industry (VDA) announced on Friday.

The spread of the novel coronavirus and the measures to contain it had played a “major role” in the “sharpest decline” in the passenger car market in a month since Germany’s reunification in 1990, according to VDA.

Incoming orders in March were also “significantly” below the previous year’s level due to the coronavirus crisis, VDA stated. During the first quarter of 2020, the number of new passenger cars registered in Germany fell by 20 percent to a total of 701,300.

Domestic orders from Germany dropped by 30 percent compared with the same month last year while passenger car orders from other countries fell by 37 percent.

Passenger car production in Germany was currently reduced significantly, VDA noted. German manufacturers built only 287,900 cars in March, 37 percent fewer than in the same month last year. In the quarter as a whole, car production in Germany fell by 20 percent.

According to VDA, the decline in car exports was similarly high. In March, exports of new cars fell by 32 percent compared to the same month last year. Enditem

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