Passenger Car Registrations Continue Downward Trend
Passenger car registrations in Europe (EU and EFTA) continued to fall in year-on-year comparisons made in August 2008. Figures released by the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association show that registrations in August fell 15.6 per cent, from 955,000 to 806,000 in year-on-year monthly comparisons. Additionally, August figures show a 3.9 per cent reduction in new PC registrations in the period January-August 2008 compared with the same period in 2007.
More specific figures for August were also released, showing that new car registrations fell 16.5 per cent in Western Europe, with Ireland (-41.6 per cent) and Spain (-41.3) nursing the greatest haemorrhages. Thumbing its nose at the trends in the rest of the region, Portugal managed to post a growth of 4.8 per cent in new car registrations, though it was the only country to do so. Italy (-26.4 per cent), the UK (-18.6), Germany (-10.4) and France (-7.1) all saw falls.
In new EU member states, monthly demand also dropped compared to August 2007, though less steeply at 8.7 per cent. The Czech Republic (+0.5 per cent) and Poland (-0.9) saw relative stability, while Hungary (-23.3) and to a lesser extent Romania (-9.0) found things tougher going.
Speaking in a broader sense on the year-on-year January-September period comparisons, 2008’s decline was led by a 4.4 per cent drop in Western Europe, where modest growth in France (+2.9 per cent) and Germany (+1.7) was drowned out by the drops in Spain (-21.1), Italy (-12.0) and the UK (-3.8). Demand in new member states rose 2.7 per cent, with growth in Poland (+9.1) and the Czech Republic (+8.2) eclipsing the downward trend in Hungary (-4.9) and Romania (-3.5).