Passenger car: New registrations down 25.8% in November

Brussels, 16/12/2008 - New passenger car registrations in Europe* fell by 25.8% in November compared to the same month of last year, declining for the seventh month in a row, mirroring the financial and economic crises.


Brussels, 16/12/2008 - New passenger car registrations in Europe* fell by 25.8% in November compared to the same month of last year, declining for the seventh month in a row, mirroring the financial and economic crises. The last time registrations dropped this notably was in 1999 and 1993 with data then, before the EU enlargement, only including the EU15 plus EFTA countries. Last month’s results were aggravated by on average two working days less across the region**. Markets in Western Europe and the new EU Member States contracted at a similar pace (-26.0% and -22.6% respectively). All markets decreased except Finland, Poland and the Czech Republic. In units, European November registrations declined to 932,537 cars. Cumulatively from January to November, 13,788,256 new cars were registered in Europe*, representing a 7.1% downturn.

In Western Europe, a total of 854,698 new passenger cars were registered in November, or 26.0% less than in November last year. The downturn hit all countries except Finland, ranging from -3.5% in Portugal to -55.9% in Ireland. Of the major markets, Spain was the most severely affected (-49.6%), followed by the UK (-36.8%) and Italy (-29.5%), while Germany (-17.7%) faced the steepest fall of its market since December 2007 (-20.3%) and France (-14.1%) since August 2003 (-15.4%). January to November results show a 7.6% decline of the West European market, with around one million fewer cars registered compared to the same period last year. France managed to level last year’s demand so far (+0.8%), while registrations in Germany declined by 1.5%, in the UK by 10.7%, in Italy by 13.4% and in Spain by 26.0%.

Markets in the new EU Member States echoed the November drop recorded in Western Europe, plummeting by 22.6%, and against the trend so far. The new EU Member States long showed more resilience, in relative terms, because of the greater number of first-time buyers as opposed to the replacement market of Western Europe. Of the main markets, the Czech Republic (+2.0%) and Poland (+10.7%) posted growth, compensating the negative results recorded in Hungary (-28.4%) and Romania (-53.1%).

Eleven months into the year, the region posted growth with 0.3% more cars registered than over the same period a year earlier. Hungary and Romania saw their new registrations go down by 7.4% and 7.5% but the Czech Republic and Poland performed better than last year with a 9.3% upturn. * EU27 + EFTA, data for Cyprus and Malta unavailable ** One working day less for Austria, France, Italy, Portugal, Spain, Slovenia; three fewer working days for the Czech Republic and Slovakia, same number of working days as last year for Hungary.

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