In Europe, sales of new cars fall, those of two-wheelers jump

In Europe, sales of new cars fall, those of two-wheelers jump

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New car sales continue to fall in Europe. At issue is the continuing spare parts shortage due to global supply chain disruptions. In May, registrations fell by nearly 21% in the UK. With the exception of containment in 2020, this is the second weakest monthly performance observed for 30 years, according to SMMT, the British sector association. Result: the British market remains 32.3% below its pre-crisis level. In contrast, sales of electric cars jumped nearly 18%.

Rebound in domestic production in Germany

Same sales profile in Germany and France, although the dip is less marked. Across the Rhine, the new car sales market fell by 10.2%, but domestic production rebounded by 25%. A total of 207,199 new cars have been registered according to the Federal Automobile Agency. As a reminder, the decline was 21.5% in April and 17.5% in March. Result: with 1 million units sold for the first five months of the year, the German market is down 9% compared to the same period of 2021 and 33% compared to that of 2019. hope for this key sector of the German economy: domestic production rebounded helped by two additional working days. But production in the first five months of the year remains 34% below the pre-crisis level in 2019. Only sales of electric cars rose, climbing 8.9%, to represent 14.1% new registrations, while sales of petrol and diesel models fell more than the market.

In France, sales of new cars fell again by 10% in May for the twelfth consecutive month. The sector recorded 126,813 registrations, a decrease of 10.09% over one year despite two additional days of activity. While spring is supposed to be a strong time for car sales, “the results are not good at all. The shortage of semiconductors continues to slow deliveries”, commented François Roudier of the Automotive Platform, which brings together the builders.

Over the first five months of 2022, the market fell by 16.92% with 600,897 registrations. Sales of light commercial vehicles also fell by nearly 25%, to 147,161 registrations from January to May. This context benefits hybrid and rechargeable hybrid engines, which represent 28.6% of sales over the first five months of the year, and electric vehicles (11.9%).

Two-wheeler boom

The trend is completely different for two-wheelers. In the first quarter, sales of motorcycles and scooters accelerated further, the Association of European Motorcycle Manufacturers (ACEM) said in mid-May. Two-wheeler registrations in France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the UK rose 14.6% year-on-year and exceeded pre-pandemic sales figures for the first quarter of 2019, reaching 226,793 units. The two-wheeler market thus continued to grow while the automobile market fell sharply, to less than two million units on the same scope.

Scooters also grew by 3.5% in the six main European markets (France, Netherlands, Germany, Belgium, Italy, Spain), reaching 57,755 units. France and the Netherlands, two main markets on the continent, however, suffered a slight decline. Electric models continued to grow, with 8,936 motorcycles and 19,045 battery scooters sold.

“Two-wheeler registrations remained solid in the main European markets in the first quarter, despite logistical and industrial problems created by the Covid-19 pandemic,” said Antonio Perlot, secretary general of ACEM.

Preliminary data for the month of April, however, show a “slight slowdown in certain markets”, underlined Antonio Perlot, “linked to the shortage of semiconductors and delays in delivery, affecting the availability of certain models”.

“Sales for the next few months could be affected, up or down, by factors such as the increase in the price of gasoline or the economic situation in Europe”, while spring and the beginning of summer are highlights for two-wheeler sales.