This is evident from figures from the Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS). The car importers saw most of their turnover disappear. In the first quarter, this was 18% lower than the same period in 2019.
Only the trade and repair of passenger cars saw turnover grow, but with just under 4% it was much more modest than last year’s 11% increase in turnover. Motorcycle dealers and repair companies received 1% less money in the first quarter.
However, the picture for the future among entrepreneurs in the car industry is jet black. In the first quarter it was negative with -7.6 points, but two weeks after the ‘smart lockdown’ at the beginning of the second quarter, business confidence fell to -46.9 points.
Only in the hospitality sector and transport and transport business confidence is lower. No less than 84.7% of the entrepreneurs in the car and motorcycle industry expect sales to decrease for the next three months. Last quarter was less than fifth.
The negative sentiment is also reflected in the number of vacancies and bankruptcies. In the last three months of 2019, there were still 4,000 vacancies in the car and motorcycle sector. There were only 2,800 in the first three months. 23 companies in the industry went bankrupt in the first quarter of this year. That is four more than in the last three months of 2019.
However, the Bovag trade association is slowly regaining confidence as people are cautiously allowed to do something again. Bovag gauges the mood among its members on a weekly basis, which shows that 83% of entrepreneurs are currently confident that the corona crisis will end well. That is the highest level since the start of the lockdown.
Although a large majority see light at the end of the tunnel, Bovagleden expect an average sales loss of 39.6% and say nearly six in ten need additional credit within the next three months. Driving school owners expect to lose the most income with an average drop in turnover of 60.1%. These are not included in the CBS figures. Car dealers and independent car companies, which have been included in the motor and car industry statistics by Statistics Netherlands, expect turnover losses of 41.4% and 35.2% respectively.
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