West European car registrations fell by 24.8% year‐on‐year (YoY) in June, while the regional selling rate stood at 10.3 mn units/year. From the record‐low in April, the May improvement has continued into June, though it is clear that demand remains very depressed and COVID‐19 continues to weigh heavily on the regional economy.
French registrations were a high point for the region last month, with a 1.2% YoY increase in sales, a very welcome result that proved to be an exception, with all other markets again down YoY. Italy saw registrations fall 23.1% YoY, with a selling rate of 1.4 mn units/year for the month. In the UK, sales improved from the dismal 20k units sold in May to 145k units in June — this is still a sizeable YoY drop, however, of ‐34.9%. In Germany, recovery was below expectations, with a YoY contraction of 32.3% and a selling rate of 2.3 mn units/year. Spanish registrations fell by 36.7% YoY, to 83k units for the month.
Once again, the impact of COVID‐19 coronavirus dominates the forecast for Western Europe, even though we are in the early part of the recovery phase. Government incentive schemes could be a significant determinant of the pace of this recovery, as seen in France. Our 2020 outlook remains unchanged, with a 26% contraction expected this year for the region as a whole. This reflects our expectation of gradual recovery in H2 2020 spurred on by improving consumer activity as lockdown measures continue to ease.