The improvement in registrations during November has been due to several factors and despite at least one less working day in most markets.
However, IHS Markit still expects that passenger car registrations in the EU will fall in 2019, 2020, and 2021.
Passenger car registrations in the European Union have recorded further growth during November, according to the latest data published by the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association. Demand grew by 4.9% year on year to 1,175,959 units. The latest gain has meant that the decline in the year to date has been further reduced, ending the 11-month period down by just 0.3% y/y at 14,123,228 units.
Passenger car registrations in the European Free Trade Association – made up of Iceland, Norway, and Switzerland – fell back last month though, down by 6% y/y to 34,901 units, as a result of a downturn recorded in Norway. The decline this month brings the region down by 1.5% y/y in the YTD at 418,898 units.
Again, only four of the five biggest passenger car sales-volume markets in the EU recorded gains during November. Leading the way was Germany with registrations of 299,127 units, up 9.7% y/y. In addition, registrations increased by a more modest 0.7% y/y in France, while in Italy and Spain, registrations were up by 2.2% y/y and 2.3% y/y, respectively. The exception was the United Kingdom, where registrations dipped by 1.3% y/y, as the market has been beset by a range of domestic factors, not least uncertainty related to both Brexit and the general election last week.
Much of the remaining market in the EU saw registrations grow by varying degrees last month. The biggest improvement was in Romania, where it jumped by 57.7% y/y due to a slump a year earlier. Other significant gains this month have included Lithuania, Hungary and Sweden. Sweden was hit by the hangover from the change to a new bonus-malus tax that was introduced in July and had a massively disruptive effect on the market as customers pulled forward registrations before its introduction.