According to data from 26 European markets, new car registrations slowed in July, recording a year-on-year decline of 24% as total volume decreased from 1.27 million units to 967,830.
Similar results were recorded in July 2012, when the market registered 966,090 units. The year-to-date results remain positive, up by 17% compared to 2020 with 7,381,735 units registered, but down by 24% when compared with January to July 2019.
Felipe Munoz, Global Analyst at JATO Dynamics, said, “Despite the efforts of national governments to boost consumer confidence, the impact of the pandemic is still being felt by the industry.” While volume increased in Norway, Croatia, Greece, Latvia, Romania, Estonia, Ireland and Lithuania, this combined accounted for only 8% of total registrations during the month.
In contrast to the overall trend, consumers in Europe continued to buy more low emissions vehicles. In July, a total of 160,646 BEV and PHEV vehicles were registered, accounting for almost 17% of total registrations. This is the second highest monthly market share after June 2021, and the third highest ever in Europe – BEVs accounted for 47% of that total.
Europe’s best seller in July was the Dacia Sandero but in a surprise the VW Golf saw its share steeply fall after years dominating the market. The Toyota Yaris, Hyundai Tucson and VW T-Cross were the only models to record growth and over 12-months.
In more positive news, UK commercial vehicle production grew to 5,625 units in July, reported the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders.
Production increased for the fifth consecutive month, growing by 7.5% compared to the same month in 2020 when production lines were running at a reduced capacity due to social distancing measures and dwindling order numbers due to low business confidence.
Despite the apparent positivity, production over the year-to-date remains -21.3% below the average for the five years pre-Covid, with supply shortages of semi-conductor chips and an increase in the numbers of workers who have been required to self-isolate impacting volumes.
Production for overseas markets increased by 16.2% during the month, raising the export share by almost five percentage points to 60.0% of all CVs bound for international shores. Nevertheless, over the course of the year export share has decreased to 49.7% from 55.1% in 2020 as demand from home has outpaced that from abroad.