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European Car Sales Down by 26% in Nov

The European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association, ACEA, has reported that new passenger car registrations in Europe (encompassing the EU 27 and EFTA countries) fell by 25.8% in November compared to the same month of last year, declining for the seventh month in a row, mirroring the financial and economic crises. The last time registrations dropped this significantly was in 1999 and 1993, though data then included only the EU15 plus EFTA countries. Markets in Western Europe and the new EU Member States contracted at a similar pace (-26.0% and -22.6% respectively). All markets decreased except Finland, Poland and the Czech Republic. Ireland and Romania both saw registrations fall by more than 50% in November compared to a year ago, while Spain saw registrations fall by 49.6% and the UK by 36.8%.

January to November results show a 7.6% decline of the West European market, with around one million fewer cars registered compared to the same period last year. France managed to level last year’s demand so far (+0.8%), while registrations in Germany declined by 1.5%, in the UK by 10.7%, in Italy by 13.4% and in Spain by 26.0%.

Markets in the new EU Member States echoed the November drop recorded in Western Europe, plummeting by 22.6%, and against the trend so far. The new EU Member States long showed more resilience, in relative terms, because of the greater number of first-time buyers as opposed to the replacement market of Western Europe. Of the main markets, the Czech Republic (+2.0%) and Poland (+10.7%) posted growth, compensating the negative results recorded in Hungary (-28.4%) and Romania (-53.1%). Eleven months into the year, the region posted growth with 0.3% more cars registered than over the same period a year earlier. Hungary and Romania saw their new registrations go down by 7.4% and 7.5% but the Czech Republic and Poland performed better than last year with a 9.3% upturn.

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