Passenger car: 2007 new registrations contained by weak private demand in Western Europe

Brussels, 14/12/2007 - In 2007, new passenger car registrations in Europe (EU27+EFTA) have until the end of November increased by 1.1% compared to the same period last year.

Brussels, 14/12/2007 - In 2007, new passenger car registrations in Europe (EU27+EFTA) have until the end of November increased by 1.1% compared to the same period last year. Private demand in most of the countries in Western Europe has been dampened by consumer uncertainty fed by, amongst others, sharp rises in oil price, loss of purchasing power and regulatory changes. In November, new car registrations fell by 2.1% in Western Europe and soared by 12.4% in the new EU member states, which resulted in the overall figure being 1.1% lower than in November 2006. The number of working days was roughly the same as last year in the whole EU. Western Europe’s November figures were weakened by falling registrations in Spain (–5.9%) and in Germany (–12.9%). Italy (+1%), the UK (+2.2%) and France (+7.2%) saw their markets grow. Most of the smaller markets also posted increases, with the exception of Austria (–2.9%), Ireland (–13.8%) and Finland (–61.7%). The new member states enjoyed another month of strong growth (+12.4%), with Lithuania (+69%), Romania (+27.2%) and Bulgaria (+21.1%) among the most dynamic markets.

One month before the end of the year, new car registrations in Europe have shown a cumulative (Jan-Nov) increase of 1.1%. Registrations in France, the UK and Italy exceeded their last year’s results by 1.7%, 2.5% and 6.6%, respectively. Spain (–1.9%) and Germany (–8.2%) remained on a downturn path. A decline in private demand on the German domestic market following January 2007 VAT increase is most likely to retain new registrations below 3.17 million cars, 9% less than in the previous year. A steady expansion in the new EU members (+14.7%) positively influenced the overall figures in 2007 (+1.1%). Apart from Hungary (–7.5%), the number of new cars registered in the new member states was higher than in 2006. ** One extra working day in Poland and Slovakia, two in the Czech Republic

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