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August 11, 2022updated 12 Aug 2022 3:01pm

Europe’s car market down 10% in July

Supply shortages continue to constrain sales of new cars in Europe

By David Leggett

Sales of new cars in Western Europe declined by 9.9% over last year during the month of July, according to data released by GlobalData unit LMC Automotive.

Car sales in the region reached 778,165 units in July. In the first seven months of the year they reached 5.8 million units, some 13.8% under last year’s pace.

LMC also noted that the Western Europe selling rate (SAAR) slipped to 9.5 mn units/year in July, in line with the year-to-date (YTD) average of 9.5mn units/year. July saw a decline in new vehicle registrations year-on-year (YoY) across most countries, which relates to the ongoing supply issues, exacerbated by the conflict in Ukraine and recent China lockdown.

The German car selling rate increased slightly to 2.4mn units/year despite raw sales falling month-on-month (MoM).  In the UK, the selling rate of 1.6mn units/year showed a slight increase from the poor performance in June. For France, the selling rate of 1.4 mn units/year was down from the previous month, but still in line with the YTD average. In Spain, the selling rate slipped to 760k units/year. Finally, the Italian PV selling rate for July showed a slight increase on June, standing at 1.3mn units/year.

The 2022 full year forecast for the region remains at 9.9 mn units, broadly unchanged from last month. That does mean that selling rates will need to pick up over the remainder of the year, and so assumes that, while the production headwinds continue, they will ease from earlier in the year.

However, there are increasing concerns on the demand side too, as Western Europe faces rapidly rising living costs, natural gas supply shortages and increasing interest rates.

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