New EU Member States Fuel Rise in Car Registrations
The European Association of Car Makers (ACEA) reports that nearly 16 million new cars were registered in the 27 European Union member states plus 3 EFTA countries (Iceland, Norway and Switzerland) during 2007, 1.1 per cent more than the previous year. Most of this growth, as expected, took place in the new EU member states, with 14.5 per cent growth recorded during the year. A number of factors led to restrained buyer confidence in Western Europe, where registrations only rose by 0.2 per cent.
In the UK a 2.5 per cent rise in new registrations (to just over 2.4 million units) was mainly driven by private demand, especially for small and diesel vehicles, reports the ACEA. End of year trends were also positive, with UK registrations up 3.1 per cent in December 2007 compared with a year earlier. Other Western European markets faired less well; activity in Germany was especially subdued, with this market experiencing a 9.2 per cent decrease in annual registrations due to a VAT increase in January 2007.
Of the new member states, seven markets posted double-digit annual growth; only Hungary experienced a downward trend (-7.8 per cent) in 2007.