Falls in February, the car market european (-7,2%), even before the Coronavirus

Unrae managing calls on the European institutions to the maximum attention in support of the automotive sector

In February, it contracts again, the European market for passenger cars, with a or 7.2% compared to February 2019, weighed down by the general collapse of demand by private individuals that are 16.1% in Germany, -15,5% in France, -11,0% in Spain, 7.4% in the United Kingdom and, “dulcis in fundo”, -19,0% in Italy.

According to data released today from the ACEA, the Association of European car Manufacturers, in February, registrations of new passenger cars in the eu-27+EFTA+UK amounted to 1.066.794 drive (had been 1.149.659 in the same month last year). The first two months of the year closed with a decrease of 7.3% to 2.202.010 units sold against the 2.375.791 of the first two months of 2019.

From the analysis of the results of the month for the country, it produces a widespread decline in sales, with all major markets in the negative.

The focus on 5 Major Markets shows contractions with different intensities – ranging from 2.7% with France at 10.8% as of Germany through the or 2.9% of the United Kingdom, the -6,0% to Spain, and down 8.8% in Italy – but sharing, as already said, by the strong decline of the private sector. Continues in all the Major Markets the exponential growth in registrations of electric cars as well, and plug-in, which are, however, still feeds the niche.

“The data from February, not yet affected by the emergency coronavirus – comments Andrea Cardinal, Director General of unrae managing, the Association of foreign car manufacturers – confirm, if it needed to be, the crisis is now structural in the market European car, and supported by the major economic efforts of the car manufacturers, and distribution networks. The outlook for 2020, already negative prior to the start of the drama the health care that the entire world is currently experiencing, runs the risk of becoming unsustainable for the economic and social situation that arises, serious, and unprecedented”.

“From when they were applied to the whole national territory the measures of containment of the epidemic – continues the Cardinal – the automobile market in Italy has experienced a veritable meltdown, with only a few dozens of registrations per day and a forecast for the entire month of March to less than 30 thousand units against the 194mila of March, 2019”.

“ With a delay of a few days, other European markets are following in the footsteps of Italy. In the last few days almost all the European plants for the production of the vehicles were locked, except for rare exceptions, the effects of heavy on employment and the economic contribution that the automotive industry provides across Europe”.

“At the moment – continues the Cardinal – it is impossible to predict the duration and outcome of the health crisis and the socio-economic that we are suffering and it is impossible to draw up forecasts of the market. What is certain is the strong risk on the part of the European automotive industry of not achieving the challenging objectives of reducing emissions of CO2 into force starting from this year, with the result of having to pay costly fines due to the interruption of the supply chains of the electrical components for low-emission vehicles, in the face of market volumes reduced, a situation that is unsustainable from the financial point of view”.

“Unrae managing – concludes the Cardinal – feels so urgent is the predisposition on the part of European and national institutions, during and after the emergency, of measures that are integrated and coordinated, from both the demand and the supply, in support of the automotive sector in continental, which occupies nearly 14 million people and could serve as a driving force to the economic recovery, given its weight on GDP, and the multiplier effect of its substantial investment, around € 60 billion every year.”

Germany – Cala double-digit growth compared to February 2019 (-11%)

The decline in January (to 7.3%) follows in Germany a February to accelerate the fall (-10,8%). The passenger cars registered in February, in fact, have been 239.943 compared to 268.867 the same period last year. German sales of the car, as in general in other European markets, are influenced by private demand in the crisis, with reduced presence in the dealerships. Registrations by private individuals have decreased by 16% compared to February 2019, with a market share at 33.2 percent, while purchases by legal persons decreased by 8%, to 66.8% of the share. More than half (52%) of the vehicles registered were petrol, with 125.116 units sold, down 22%; the diesel, with 75.852 registrations, down 31.6% of the fee, with a -13,4%. Great leap of power supply alternatives, with the hybrid to 12.5% of the share, and 30,000 registrations (+98,1%), of which 8.354 plug-in. The electric cars registered rose to 3.4% of share, and 8,154 leases and units (+75,4%). The association of importers VDIK expects for this year a strong boost to car sales, electric, with a German market, a decrease of 7% to 3.35 million cars are sold.

France – After the collapse of January, February, flexes yet (down 2.7%)

After the worst January (-13%), the market of French car fails to start, recording indeed, in February a new drop (- 2.7% compared to February 2019, with 167.782 passenger cars registered. The two months of the year then closes with 302.011 units sold (-7,8% compared to the same period of 2019, with the demand of the private sector in sharp decline because of economic uncertainty). In the analysis of the first two months of the year for power is to note the decline of the diesel, dropped, with 101.704 units registered, 33.7% of the market share from 35% in February of last year, while the sales of petrol cars, with 146416 registrations, declined to 48.5% of the share, or 9.3 p. p.). Always in the first two months, the power supply alternatives, by contrast, recorded the best performance, with the hybrid climbs to 11% share (5.3%) with 33.108 unit are registered; the electric go up to 6.8% of quota with 20.403 registrations. The analysis of the body, it follows, finally, that the sedans will remain stable at 50% of the share while the off-road climb to 39%.

Spain – In February, the decline was 6%. Still falling private demand

After the increases of the last few months of last year and the decline in January, it contracts again, of the 6%, in February, the Spanish market of passenger cars, 94.620 units sold compared to the 100.693 of the same month of 2019. Analyzing the market for sales channels, we highlight the decrease (-11%) from sales to individuals, bearing in mind that, with the exception of September 2019, this is 17 times removed consecutive month in the negative. The decrease also relates to the registration of the rental (down 1.6% to 21.328 units) and the companies (-2% to 32.103 unit). Analyzing the market for power, the petrol, with a market share of 55.6%, has registered a -13%. A similar fate has the diesel, with a share of 28% and a negative variation of 12%. The drive for alternative power supply rise to 16.4% of the fee, with the hybrid (+72%) to a share of 12.6%, while the electric (+85%) rising to 1.7% share. Finally, the ANFAC (association of category) revises downwards its forecasts made at the beginning of 2020, and a substantial stagnation of the registered a -4% compared to 2019.

United kingdom – The market drops by 3% in February. Down the private 7%

After 2019 a decline of 2.4%, continues, in 2020, the decline in sales of passenger cars in the United Kingdom. February, in fact, confirms a decline (or 2.9% with 79.594 sales against the 81.969 February 2019). The cause is due to the decrease in the demand of private buyers, which inexorably decreases, as well as consumer confidence and political uncertainty. On February (traditionally a quiet month on the first transmission plate provided in march), the demand of the private sector collapses (-7,4% to 34.051 unit), while the rental is stable (+0.1% 44.075 recordings with an increase of almost 2 p.p. with respect to the 2019 to 55.4%), while the company (+29,6%) are in the opposite direction. On the front of the power supplies, continue the collapse of the diesel, which lost 27.1% of the total volume in the month, and more than 33% from the beginning of the year. Contracts, the sale of gasoline (7.3% in February, to the 60,6% of the share) to the difference of the voltages that go up to 17.5% of representativeness. In particular, the electric cars have to fit the gear with a growing, triple-digit (+243,3% on February 2019), albeit at 3.2% share. The hybrid (HEV) shows an increase of 71,9% to 4.154 unit and the plug-in hybrid (PHEVS) grow to 49.9% to 2.058 units on February 2020. According to The trade association SMMT, the eventual removal of the VAT would allow a 50% increase in sales of electric cars to 935.000 units by the end of 2024.

Rome, 18 march 2020

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