Passenger car: extra working days lift car registrations in Europe

Brussels, 16/05/2008 – In April, most European countries benefited from two to three additional working days, which helped the majority of markets post a growth in new car registrations despite the US financial crisis and further increases in fuel prices.

Brussels, 16/05/2008 – In April, most European countries benefited from two to three additional working days, which helped the majority of markets post a growth in new car registrations despite the US financial crisis and further increases in fuel prices. Passenger car demand in the EU27+EFTA* rose by 9.6% compared with last year. In total, 1,420,944 vehicles were registered over the month. Expressed in cumulative figures, European markets were stable from January to April (+1.0%).

Registrations in Western Europe were up 9.5% in April and stable (+0.1%) over the first four months of the year. With 198,558 units, France recorded 15% higher registrations thanks to two more business days. Adjusted for working days, the rise was 4.6%, in line with the 4.8% growth observed from January to April compared with the same period last year. The German market is recovering from a weak performance in 2007, posting a 20% increase compared to the same month last year. The registration of 317,960 new cars was supported by an improving labor market and a recovering consumer confidence. In the first four months of the year, new registrations of cars rose by 7.3% to 1,053,874 units. April was also a positive month for the British market which, after a weak beginning into 2008, posted the highest growth of the year so far with a rise of 5,505 units. A year-to-year comparison of cumulative figures from January to April shows a stable car demand, with about 860,000 registrations for both 2007 and 2008. In Italy, the downturn trend continued with a decrease of 2.9% compared to 2007 volumes. Adjusted for working days, the deceleration was 12%. However, Italy remains the second largest market in Europe and its April results were in line with the monthly average of the last five years. Year-to-date figures show an 8.2% contraction of the market, or 867,207 new cars registered in the first four months of the year. The Spanish market proved to be stable in April, posting a slight growth of 1.5%. Forecasts however have remained unchanged, predicting an overall fall from 7% to 9% in the number of new Spanish registrations in 2008. From January to April, 471,303 cars were registered, 11.5% less than for the same period last year.

The new EU Member States recorded a similar rise in April (+11.3%) as noted in Western Europe but also an increase (+13.1%) in demand over the first four months of the year. Poland improved its April figure by 13.8% and its cumulative results by 15.8%, being the only market in the new EU Member States to have registered over 100,000 vehicles from January to April. It is closely followed by Romania with 96,971 new cars. 

* Data for Cyprus and Malta unavailable

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About ACEA

  • The European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA) represents the 15 major Europe-based car, van, truck and bus makers: BMW Group, DAF Trucks, Daimler Truck, Ferrari, Ford of Europe, Honda Motor Europe, Hyundai Motor Europe, Iveco Group, JLR, Mercedes-Benz, Nissan, Renault Group, Toyota Motor Europe, Volkswagen Group, and Volvo Group
  • Visit www.acea.auto for more information about ACEA, and follow us on www.twitter.com/ACEA_auto or www.linkedin.com/company/ACEA/
  • Contact: Francesca Piazza, Senior Statistics Manager, fp@acea.auto

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About the EU automobile industry

  • 12.9 million Europeans work in the automotive sector
  • 8.3% of all manufacturing jobs in the EU
  • €392.2 billion in tax revenue for European governments
  • €101.9 billion trade surplus for the European Union
  • Over 7% of EU GDP generated by the auto industry
  • €59.1 billion in R&D spending annually, 31% of EU total
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