Motor vehicle and motorcycle trade: over 25% less turnover in Q2

© Hollandse Hoogte
In Q2 2020, turnover in the motor vehicle and motorcycle industry was over 25 percent lower than in the same quarter last year. This is the largest contraction in more than 25 years. All sub-branches except motorcycle trade were showing record lows. The turnover decrease already set in during the previous quarter. Statistics Netherlands (CBS) reports this based on newly released figures.

The sharpest turnover drop in Q2 was seen in new passenger car imports, falling by over 40 percent relative to one year previously. Due to the coronavirus crisis, factories shut down and demand for new cars declined. The car factory shutdowns in the Netherlands and abroad also caused trade in motor vehicle parts and accessories to fall dramatically; turnover fell by 28 percent.

Sales of company vehicles and buses also declined over the second quarter. Furthermore, turnover in the heavy company vehicle sub-branch dropped by over 26 percent year-on-year. Trade and repair of passenger cars was the only sub-branch still showing a positive trend in Q1. This sub-branch, too, was hit hard in the following quarter and recorded over 21 percent less turnover.

Turnover in the specialist repair sub-branch declined by almost 19 percent. The only sub-branch not showing double-digit decline was the motorcycle industry. Although turnover was down in this sub-branch, it was relatively limited with a decline of just under 6 percent.

Turnover developments, motor vehicle and motorcycle industry
BranchQ2 2020 (year-on-year % change)Q1 2020 (year-on-year % change)
Motor vehicle and motorcycle industry, total-25.2-1.8
Trade in car parts and accessories-28-7.2
Heavier vehicles-26.1-11.2
Trade and repairs
of passenger cars
Trade and repairs
of motorcycles

Fewer bankruptcies and fewer vacancies

In Q2 2020, the motor vehicle and motorcycle industry recorded 16 bankruptcies. This is 7 fewer than in Q1. There were altogether 2.3 thousand unfilled job vacancies. This was still 2.8 thousand in the previous quarter. The number of unfilled vacancies has not been this low since Q3 2016.

Motor vehicle and motorcycle industry less negative about Q3

In Q2 2020, the confidence indicator among entrepreneurs in the motor vehicle and motorcycle industry was low at -46.9. However, by the beginning of Q3, the mood was less pessimistic (-9.0). Across the various industries, business confidence stood at -19.3 at the start of Q3.

On balance, 3.2 percent of entrepreneurs in the motor vehicle and motorcycle industry were expecting turnover to increase in the next three months. The outlook at the start of Q2 was a decline in turnover according to 81.6 percent of the industry, on balance.
The industry also showed a less negative outlook at the beginning of Q3 with respect to staffing levels, compared to Q2. On balance, at the start of Q3, 11.2 percent of entrepreneurs in this industry were expecting their staffing level to decrease in the next three months. This was still 38.1 percent on balance in Q2.

Busines confidence by sector
SectorQ3 2020Q2 2020
Non-financial private sector-19.3-37.2
Accommodation and food services-52.4-84.3
Mining and quarrying-24.5-42
Transport and storage-21.7-50.1
Information and communication-20.5-22.1
Real estate activities-20.2-20.2
Wholesale and commission trade-19-34
Trade and repair of motor vehicles-9-46.9
Retail trade (except motor vehicles)4.5-12.8
Source: CBS, EIB, KVK, MKB-Nederland, VNO-NCW

Business confidence in the motor vehicle and motorcycle industry
YearQuarterBusiness confidence in car trade and repair
Source: CBS, EIB, KVK, MKB-Nederland, VNO-NCW