06/12/2021

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West European car market down 21.3% in February | Automotive Industry News

The West European car market was down 21.3% year-on-year during the month of February according to data released by LMC Automotive.

The sizeable drop was expected with many markets impacted by pandemic restrictions that closed dealerships and kept people at home.

However, the annualised selling rate (SAAR) for the region was up slightly in February, to 10.3m units a year.

February’s SAAR for the largest national car market, Germany, remained low, at just 2.7m units a year. LMC said a VAT distortion hangover damaged a market already restrained by lockdown measures. For the UK, the selling rate improved slightly on January, but was still weak, at 1.6m units a year.

Spanish registrations remained low as the selling rate came in at just 660k units a year. In France, the selling rate fell further, to 1.6m units a year in February, while Italy’s selling rate remained flat at 1.5m units a year.

LMC said its outlook for 2021 has been lowered by circa 100k units since last month’s report – the West European car market is now forecast at 12.12m units for 2021 (compares with 10.79m unit sales in 2020 and 14.29m in pre-pandemic 2019). It said ongoing lockdown measures seen across the region are suppressing demand well below pre-crisis levels.

LMC Automotive analyst Jonathon Poskitt told just-auto that the region’s relatively slow roll out of vaccines is also a factor in the slightly more subdued outlook. “That will inevitably draw out the selling rate recovery,” he said. “Even so, we maintain our expectation of a marked improvement in sales for full-year 2021, particularly in the second half as restrictions should be lifted and consumer confidence could gain some much-needed momentum.”

West European car sales by national market, February 2021

WESTERN EUROPE 757388 962738 -21.3298 1518838 1985203 -23.4921 10320156 10121338 10791486 -6.20997
AUSTRIA 19912 21067 -5.48251 34074 44026 -22.6048 260482.4 220052.3 249529 -11.8129
BELGIUM 36536 46775 -21.8899 74271 98615 -24.6859 486839 475008.3 431492 10.08507
DENMARK 9912 15005 -33.942 20169 33676 -40.1087 130934.9 126883.5 198151 -35.9662
FINLAND 8170 8271 -1.22113 17543 19069 -8.00252 102073.2 95495.66 96392 -0.92989
FRANCE 132637 167784 -20.9478 259018 302014 -14.2364 1604733 1685060 1650131 2.116736
GERMANY 194349 239943 -19.002 364103 486243 -25.1191 2654521 2539638 2917758 -12.9593
GREECE 5768 7877 -26.7771 13224.77 15400 -14.1249 91616.96 101899.6 79684 27.87969
IRELAND 13834 13138 5.29761 38986 43788 -10.9665 97993.07 95541.18 88324 8.171251
ITALY 142998 162793 -12.1596 276999 318660 -13.0738 1519250 1512858 1379658 9.654576
LUXEMBOURG 3853 4795 -19.6503 7599.769 9114 -16.6143 44650.38 47840.84 45189 5.86832
NETHERLANDS 21862 29665 -26.3037 57055 73681 -22.5648 269969.3 284881.8 357506 -20.3141
NORWAY 10687 10346 3.29596 20988 19907 5.430251 134522.2 136258.8 141475 -3.68703
PORTUGAL 8311 20263 -58.9844 18340 34686 -47.1256 95141.03 119127.1 145423 -18.0823
SPAIN 58279 94620 -38.4073 100245 181063 -44.6353 663173.3 628457.5 851218 -26.1696
SWEDEN 22837 21694 5.268738 43400 38492 12.7507 309960.3 326530.5 291664 11.95435
SWITZERLAND 16131 19108 -15.5799 31261 37896 -17.5084 216295.5 223196.4 236828 -5.75592
UK 51312 79594 -35.5328 141561 228873 -38.1487 1638001 1502609 1631064 -7.87554

Source: LMC Automotive