The recovery of the car market in Western Europe (EU+EFTA+UK) continues: in October, registrations grew by 14.1% and amounted to 910,753 vehicles (while there are 9,181,660 European registrations of the first ten months of the year, down by 7.8%), with all the main national markets of the area growing, except for the secondary ones of Denmark, Finland, Hungary, Slovenia and Ireland.
This is the third consecutive month and first quarter with a plus sign, coming after thirteen consecutive declines. Until last July, in fact, the Western European market decreased by 13.3% compared to January-July 2021. The trend began to reverse in August, when an increase of 3.4% was recorded; trend confirmed by the +7.9% in September and, now, by the aforementioned October figure.
“Among other things, the trend reversal, because we can now speak of a trend reversal, is extending to all Western European markets and is due to the greater availability of new cars deriving from the lessening of the car manufacturers’ difficulties in finding essential components, and in particular microchips”, observes Gian Primo Quagliano, president of the Centro Studi Promotor: “The trend reversal underway is certainly a positive fact, but it cannot be forgotten that compared to the situation preceding the pandemic, i.e. compared to 2019, the Western European car market in the first ten months of this year still suffers a decline of 31.1%. In Western Europe, the return to normality for car sales is therefore still a long way off”.
In all markets, sales appear to be supported above all by purchases of long-term rental companies and those of corporate fleets. While, unfortunately, private demand is still weak. For the coming months, however, some shadows remain on the possible performance of the market, thanks to the double-digit inflation that is gripping the region: therefore there is growing concern that the deterioration of economic conditions could further discourage buyers.
And while automakers are making it easier to insure semiconductors and other components that have been in short supply and slowing production in recent months, Europe’s energy crisis is driving up costs, hampering a more robust recovery. “Even if an improvement is expected for next year, the market will remain far below what was considered normal operating volume before the pandemic,” conclude the analysts of LMC Automotive.