Europe’s Car Sales Fall Slows, With France Posting Positive.
“We expect selling rates to continue on their generally upward trajectory over the second half of the year, in a clear but uneven recovery”
Plummeting sales of cars and SUVs in Western Europe slowed in June to down 24.8%, compared with a fall of 57.3% the previous month, LMC Automotive said, with France standing out with results in the plus column.
In June the annual selling rate in Western Europe was 10.3 million, compared with last year’s actual outcome of 14.29 million.
LMC’s forecast for the whole of 2020 remains unchanged at a contraction of 26%, for a total of 10.62 million.
France surprised with a gain of 1.2% to 234,000 compared with the same month last year. France recently introduced a generous package of incentives for car sales. Germany, Europe’s largest market, disappointed with a 32.5% fall to 220,000. Germany also has unveiled a big support package for car sales, but the help was focussed on electric cars, still a small proportion of total sales.
Sales in Britain fell 34.9% to 145,000.
“We expect selling rates to continue on their generally upward trajectory over the second half of the year, in a clear but uneven recovery,” LMC said in a report.
“In our last report, we mentioned the continued presence of substantial upside and downside risks to the outlook, depending on incentive schemes and a potential second wave of (coronavirus) cases. With the most recent data, the ability to inject life into the auto sector via government support schemes is clearly apparent from the positive French result. In terms of downside risk, no substantial second waves of the virus have yet affected sales, but this risk is far from resolved: in the U.K., for instance, parts of the country have been put into a localized lockdown, highlighting the possibility of more prolonged consequences, in some parts of the region at least,” LMC said.