Passenger car: registrations remain on downward trend due to high fuel prices

Brussels, 16/09/2008 – Over the summer, demand for new cars in Europe* decreased by 7.3% in July and 15.7% in August, reflecting the general deterioration in consumer confidence and the effect of continuing high fuel prices. In addition, there were two working days less across the whole region.

Over the summer, demand for new cars in Europe* decreased by 7.3% in July and 15.7%** in August, reflecting the general deterioration in consumer confidence and the effect of continuing high fuel prices. In addition, there were two working days less across the whole region. Over the first eight months of the year, new car registrations declined by 3.9% in Europe*.

In July, new passenger car registrations fell by 7.2% in Western Europe. Germany posted growth (+1.5%) and the French market remained stable (-0.2%). However, the Italian, the British and the Spanish markets dropped by 10.9%, 13.0% and 27.5% respectively. Of the four biggest markets in the new EU member states, only the Czech Republic registered more cars than in July last year (+12.0%). Romania saw its market contract by 33.0%, Hungary by 9.8% and Poland by 1.2%. Overall, new car registrations in the new EU member states decreased by 8.9%.

In August, new car registrations decreased by 16.5% in Western Europe, with only Portugal posting growth (+4.8%). Ireland (-41.6%) and Spain (-41.3%) registered the steepest downturn. Registrations fell by 26.4% in Italy, 18.6% in the UK, 10.4% in Germany and 7.1% in France. Demand for new cars in the new EU member states dropped by 9.3%**. Registrations remained stable in the Czech Republic (+0.5%) and Poland (-0.9%) while declining by 23.3% in Hungary and by 9.0% in Romania.

Over the first eight months of the year, there was a general decline in the number of new passenger cars registered in Europe* (-3.9%). New registrations fell by 4.4% in Western Europe, with a decrease in Spain (-21.1%), Italy (-12.0%) and the UK (-3.8%) overshadowing growth in France (+2.9%) and Germany (+1.7%). Registrations were up 1.8%** in the new EU member states, reflecting growth in Poland (+9.1%) and the Czech Republic (+8.2%) while Hungary (-4.9%) and Romania (-3.5%) were on a downward trend. 

* EU27 + EFTA, data for Cyprus and Malta unavailable 

** Figure revised on September 18, 2008

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About ACEA

  • The European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA) represents the 16 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, Jaguar Land Rover, Mercedes-Benz, Renault Group, Stellantis, Toyota Motor Europe, Volkswagen Group, Volvo Cars, 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, Statistics Manager, fp@acea.auto.

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About the EU automobile industry

  • 12.7 million Europeans work in the auto industry (directly and indirectly), accounting for 6.6% of all EU jobs.
  • 11.5% of EU manufacturing jobs – some 3.5 million – are in the automotive sector.
  • Motor vehicles are responsible for €398.4 billion of tax revenue for governments across key European markets.
  • The automobile industry generates a trade surplus of €76.3 billion for the EU.
  • The turnover generated by the auto industry represents more than 8% of the EU’s GDP.
  • Investing €58.8 billion in R&D annually, the automotive sector is Europe’s largest private contributor to innovation, accounting for 32% of total EU spending.
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