West European car registrations grew by 4.2% year‐on‐year (YoY) in November. This headline result is one of relative improvement — against November 2018’s WLTP‐related weakness — rather than strong underlying demand in November 2019. Gradual normalization from a weak September 2019 SAAR continues, with this year having seen more muted WLTP‐distortions than 2018. West European selling rate reached 14.0 mn units/year in November, moving upwards from 13.5 mn units/year in October and 13.1 mn units/year in September.
The German selling rate rose to 3.5 mn units/year in November, while YoY growth in sales remained strong at 9.7%. UK sales were down 1.3% YoY last month — with the forthcoming Brexit‐dominated election, the country continues to be stuck in a grip of uncertainty. In Spain, sales rose modestly at 2.3% YoY, with the selling rate remaining in line with October’s 1.2 mn units/year. Similarly, Italy saw a selling rate in line with last month at 1.9 mn units/year, paired with YoY growth of 2.2% in sales. French registrations saw little growth YoY in November, at just 0.7%, though the selling rate remains solid at 2.2 mn units/year.
Regionally, year‐to‐date (YTD) sales were marginally down from 2018, though by the close of the year we expect to see a similar outturn to 2018. We are now a little more cautious on 2020, with overall volumes expected to be lower than this year — economic challenges remain, particularly in light of the external trade environment and Brexit uncertainty, and there is a risk that OEMs may have to take action that could have an impact on total market volumes because of forthcoming CO2 targets.