Passenger car: Demand for new cars in Europe rises in October

Brussels, 14/11/2007 - New passenger car registrations were 5.5% higher than last year due to one extra working day and positive results in most main markets.

Brussels, 14/11/2007 - In October, new passenger car registrations in Europe (EU27+EFTA) were 5.5% higher than in the same month in 2006, thanks to one extra working day in the whole region and a general upswing in most of the main markets. West European countries improved their result by a sound 4.8% and the new Member States remained on a growth path (+11.8%). Thanks to this months’ result and an upturn during the summer, there were almost 13.6 million cars registered in Europe through October, 1.2% more than in the same period last year. Of the main markets, only German registrations dropped in October (–4.1%). Influenced by an increase in VAT in January 2007, new car registrations in Germany are likely to remain well below 2006 level until the end of the year. Registrations in France (+9.1%), Italy (+8.5%), the UK (+8.4%) and Spain (+3.4%) increased. So did sales in the remaining EU15 countries with the exception of a slight decline in Austria and Finland (–1.4% and –0.5% respectively). Most of the new EU members posted solid growths, and the most dynamic markets were Lithuania (+56.8%), Slovenia (+26.4%) Bulgaria (+19.3%) and Poland (+18.2%).

New passenger car registrations in Europe increased by 1.2% between January and October 2007 compared with the first ten months of 2006. A continuous upturn in the new EU members (+14.9%) and the October growth in the whole region positively influenced the cumulative ten-month figures. Of the largest markets, Germany (–7.6%) and Spain (–1.5%) remained weak. The UK (+2.5%), Italy (+6.9%) and France (+1.2%) strengthened their results. Apart from Hungary (–7.5%), the number of new cars registered in all other new member states was above last year’s level.