West European car registrations increased by 4.6% in year‐on‐year (YoY) terms in June, although the regional selling rate fell back from 14.8 mn units/year in May to 14.6 mn units/year in June.
France delivered an outstanding result in June, with the highest volume of sales for any month since March 2011, and a gain of 9.2% in YoY terms. The Spanish market continues to be in a growth phase, with June’s registrations up 8% YoY.
German new car registrations were up 4.2% YoY in June, and for the first half of the year are 2.9% up on the same period in 2017. There was more disappointing news from Italy, however, where registrations were down 7.3% YoY, although a high base effect will not have helped. In the UK, sales declined by 3.5% YoY, although the selling rate was little changed at just under 2.4 mn units/year.
We have revised down our full year forecast for 2018 to growth of 1.5% YoY, with the weakening in the Italian market the principal contributor. The planned transition to the stricter WLTP emissions tests from September continues to threaten to disrupt sales, as some models are unavailable for purchase, while uncertainty reigns over possible taxation increases. However, our current expectation is that while there may be some shifting of the timing of purchases, overall volumes for the year should not be too greatly affected.