January 2010 was the lowest month for the Romanian car market in 20 years: only 2,100 new cars have been registered, meaning an 85% drop against January 2009. This was the lowest decrease in the European Union car market business, according to ACEA - European Automobile Manufacturers' Association. Hungary, Bulgaria and the Baltic states saw significant drops, while Portugal, Sweden and Denmark recorded increases between 30 and 60%.

January has been a disastrous month for new car registrations in Romania, dripping 85%, from over 13,800 units to 2,133 units. Plus, it has been the first month in history when Dacia has not been the number one brand listed for registrations, overtaken by Volkswagen and Ford.

These figures place Romania on the top of the car markets that have dropped the most in the EU last month. Romania is followed by Hungary (-54.7%), Bulgaria (-47.5%), Latvia (-46.2%) and Estonia (-44.5%). At the other pole, Portugal is championing car market boost, with a 62.1% plus, followed by Sweden and Denmark, which went up by over 35%, and Greece and Italy, where new car registrations scored over 30% upwards.

Overall, in the 28 European states featured by ACEA statistics, 1,05 million new cars have been registered last month, in comparison with 938,000 in January 2009, up 13%. An important change saw Italy being the largest European car market in January, having over 200,000 registered cars, followed by Germany - around 180,000, and France - over 170,000.

As for car brands, Volkswagen is leading the European top by 11.3%, followed by Renault with 9.2%, Ford with 8.7%, Peugeot with 7,6% and Fiat 7.5%. Dacia has 1.6%, after January sales went up 69%, from around 10,000 cars to 17,000. Renault saw its sales going up 58% and Hyundai sold 53% more, while Saab sales dropped the most - 68%.

ACEA statistics featured registrations in 28 European countries: 25 EU states, minus Cypress and Malta, plus Iceland, Norway and Switzerland (the EFTA states).