EU car registrations up for sixth year running in 2019
New car registrations in the EU increased 1.2% in 2019, hitting 15.3 million units in total and marking the sixth consecutive year of growth.
Although the start of the year was hit by the aftermath of the September 2018 introduction of the WLTP test, the final quarter of 2019 – and December in particular – pushed the full-year performance of the EU market into the black, as reported by ACEA.
It was a different picture when looking at the five major EU markets though. Germany (+5.0%), France (+1.9%) and Italy (+0.3%) all posted increases. By contrast, both Spain (-4.8%) and the United Kingdom (-2.4%) saw demand fall in 2019.
There was more positive news when it came to December registrations, which rose 21.7% across the EU; partly again the result of the introduction of WLTP but also down to surges in sales in various markets ahead of new regulations.
December’s rise – which marks the fourth month running of growth – comes on the back of an 8.4% decline seen in December 2018 due to WLTP.
But December also saw a surge in car sales in France (+27.7%) and Sweden (+109.3%), as both countries announced significant changes to the bonus-malus component of CO2-based taxation for 2020, while the Netherlands (+113.9%) decided to increase taxation of electric company cars from 4% to 8% as from January 2020. As a result, all EU countries – including the five big markets – posted solid growth rates in December.