October Western European Passenger Car Sales Drop -7.3%

West European car registrations fell by 7.3% year-on- year (YoY) in October , because WLTP (Worldwide Harmonized Light Vehicle Test Procedure) caught automakers sleeping and unable to sell vehicles previously certified but not able to pass actual road testing. As a result, sales were pushed into August, which seemed a good idea at the time but now looks to be a failed strategy because the homologation process is taking time. Some of the industry’s largest makers (and likely practiced cheaters such as the Germans) are still behind legalization. In early October 43% of the versions of models on the market had not been homologated, with the percentage only at 37% one month later.

As WLTP continued to cast a shadow over the new car market, the regional selling rate recovered, slightly, to 12.6 million units annually, from the nearly six-year low of 11.3  million units in September.

AutoInformed.com Western Europe Full Year 2018 Vehicle Sales

Paybacks are hell.

Given the persistence of falling sales in several key markets linked to WLTP-related disruptions, LMC now sees 2018 full-year growth of a mere 0.8%, a little lower than previously. In addition, with the prospects for economic growth now looking slightly weaker in some key markets, LMC have reduced the 2019 West European sales forecast in volume terms with YoY growth seen at, gulp. 0.9%.     

September Sales

Germany, the economic power house of  Western Europe currently in political chaos, and home of the Dieselgate scandal, saw new car sales fall 7.4 % YoY in October. This poor result reduced the year to date (YTD) gains made from 2.4% for the first nine months, to just 1.4% once October is included.

In Italy, registrations also slipped by 7.4%, and YTD sales are now down 3.2%, in what appears to be an increasingly fragile market.

Spanish car sales fell by 6.6% YoY in October, while the selling rate barely improved on September’s 25-month low.

In the UK, sales were down 2.9% YoY, with the selling rate staging a modest recovery to 2.2  million units/year.

The French car market fell 1.5% YoY, but the selling rate edged above 2 million units/year, from 1.9  million units/year in September.

About Kenneth Zino

Ken Zino is an auto industry veteran with global experience in print, broadcast and electronic media. He has auto testing, marketing, public relations and communications expertise garnered while working in Asia, Europe and the U.S.
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1 Response to October Western European Passenger Car Sales Drop -7.3%

  1. Autocrat says:

    LMC Automotive and Wards Intelligence have announced an alliance to join their business intelligence and global automotive forecasting capabilities to better serve the automotive market. The alliance leverages the strengths of both brands by uniting Wards Intelligence’s comprehensive automotive business insights, analysis and consulting with LMC’ s independent, unbiased global automotive forecasts of vehicle sales, production, powertrain and electrification. LMC Automotive and Wards Intelligence will share data and insights for enhanced industry analysis, products and services, integrated sales efforts, to bolster their consulting services and collaborate on key industry events. (editor: Viewers will note that AutoInformed uses both of these services for their analysis, insight and timeliness.)

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