West European car registrations fell by 2.2% year‐on‐year (YoY) in July. The selling rate climbed to 14.3 mn units/year. Alongside the easing of lockdown restrictions, government incentive schemes are certainly playing a positive role in boosting sales demand. Nonetheless, the challenges of the uncertainty surrounding COVID‐19 coronavirus and the threat of future containment measures still remain.
In July, French registrations saw a second month of positive YoY growth, up 3.9% YoY. In the UK, pent‐up demand meant sales saw double‐digit growth, up 11.3% YoY, while the selling rate grew to 2.5 mn units/year. In Germany, sales were down 5.4% YoY, but the selling rate improved to 3.6 mn units/year. Italy saw yet another contraction, with registrations falling 11.0% YoY. Spain sales saw their first YoY gain this year, up 1.1%, alongside a selling rate of 1.2 mn units/year.
Recovery from the rock‐bottom result in April continues for the region, with some countries now experiencing positive YoY growth. However, the fact remains the Western European auto market is in deep crisis. In year‐to‐date (YTD) terms, the region currently sits 35% below last year’s result. We expect this figure to improve through H2 2020, as consumer confidence picks up, spurred on by further government support. Our 2020 outlook for the region continues to see a major contraction, at ‐24%, only slightly better than we projected last month.