“The Covid-19 pandemic led to major disruptions in supply chains, distribution channels, availability of labour and continued activity by suppliers, which resulted in the progressive and inevitable closure of automotive production units operating in Portugal from the end of March,” the association said in a statement.
According to ACAP, in March 13,686 light passenger vehicles were produced (47.1 percent less than in the same month of the previous year), 3,203 light commercial vehicles (-39.3 percent) and 207 heavy vehicles (-61.1 percent).
In the first quarter, there was a drop of 18.3 percent in automobile production in Portugal, for a total of 77,204 units manufactured, with drops of 20.5 percent, 4.5 percent and 36.4 percent in the production of passenger cars, light commercial vehicles and heavy vehicles, respectively.
Of the total vehicles manufactured in Portugal until March, 98.1 percent were destined for the foreign market, with Europe absorbing 97.5 percent of exports.
Germany (19.4 percent), France (16.9 percent), Italy (15.7 percent), Spain (11.2 percent) and the United Kingdom (9.8 percent) were the main markets for Portuguese car exports .
With regard to the assembly of heavy vehicles in Portugal, ACAP says that a total of 35 units were assembled in March, 89.0 percent less than in the same month last year, with the accumulated drop in the first quarter of 84.2 percent , with only 169 vehicles assembled.
Of the 35 heavy vehicles assembled in March in Portugal, 30 (equivalent to 85.7 percent) were exported.