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Preliminary knowledge reveals West Europe automobile gross sales up 69% in March | Automotive Trade Information
The headline market achieve versus final yr appears to be like good, however is a bit deceptive; gross sales versus pre-pandemic ranges have been a fifth down.
Evaluation of preliminary knowledge for March reveals that mild automobile gross sales rose 69% year-on-year. Clearly, the result’s deceptive as a result of pandemic induced historic lows of late Q1 2020. Compared with 2019, gross sales at just below 1.5m have been off by 20%.
As a result of registration plate change within the UK market, March is generally the strongest month of the yr within the area. In response to GlobalData’s forecast it nonetheless may be the only strongest sale month of the yr in absolute phrases, however the SAAR fee is anticipated to get progressively stronger by way of the yr.
For March, West Europe’s SAAR improved to 13.2m from 12.5m in February and 11.6m in January. The expectation stays that the SAAR fee will proceed to make progress by way of the yr, though the gradual rollout of vaccinations in mainland Europe, spiking an infection charges and rolling lockdowns proceed to current draw back threat.
Whereas the UK market did get a brand new registration plate elevate of 18.9% year-on-year, complete registrations of 340,000 have been of little solace in comparison with 2019’s 525,000 gross sales. Certainly, on a SAAR foundation, March’s gross sales at an adjusted fee of 1.7m have been weaker than these recorded in February. With non-essential retail opening its doorways from April 12 the hope needs to be that pent-up demand will convey a really robust April and Might.
Compared with 2019, European automobile gross sales at just below 1.5m have been off by 20%.
Elsewhere the massive 5 market’s gross sales outcomes have been largely predicated on how early lockdown affected gross sales in 2020. France, Italy and Spain – the West European nations the place the pandemic first hit – year-on-year gross sales will increase of 190%, 498% and 134% respectively have been seen. Regardless of the headline grabbing will increase, all markets have been a way off March 2019’s gross sales ranges, though Italy’s degree was simply 6% off 2019’s efficiency. Germany, which was comparatively unscathed when the pandemic first reached the area, elevated its gross sales by 36% year-on-year, however its outcome was 14% shy of 2019.
For the yr, our forecast for West Europe presently sits at 14.95m, a 19.9% enhance on 2020. Nevertheless, an infection charges and accompanying lockdowns will proceed to be intently monitored throughout the area. The response of the UK market because it comes out of lockdown within the subsequent few months will function a bellwether for different European markets by way of the remainder of the yr as they start to ramp up vaccination applications.