-  Graphic: Dataforce

Graphic: Dataforce

Fleet registrations in Germany are expected to drop by 380,000 units in 2020 as the result of the COVID-19 pandemic, and registrations for April and May are projected to be 80% lower than projected, according to Dataforce.

The closures of registration offices and showrooms due to the coronavirus, combined with the production stops in factories, will have the greatest impact on vehicle registrations. In many cases companies that have already ordered new cars are unable to register them. Closed dealerships correspond to a significant shortfall in new car orders today and this will lead to fewer registrations in the coming three to six months.

Even under the assumption that dealers will reopen in mid-May and factories will restart quickly, registration figures will continue to be dampened into October, Dataforce said.

In addition to these restrictions on the supply side, demand is also affected both in the short and in the medium term, according to Dataforce. Companies must take into consideration that their economic situation may deteriorate in the coming months.

Dataforce expected that an upcoming recession will jeopardize demand for company cars.

“Our experience from the 2008/2009 financial crisis indicates a delay of several months until this effect becomes visible and another delay between the economic recovery and the rebound in car demand,” the report said.

For Germany, Dataforce said it is assuming a broad recovery by the end of 2021. Until then, however, Dataforce expects demand will be noticeably lower than in its original forecast at the beginning of the year. This is also due to special effects that affect the fleet market, such as more difficult access to corporate loans and lower residual values when used company cars are resold.