LMC Automotive European Passenger Car Sales Update (August 2021)
The West European selling rate increased slightly to 11.9 mn units/year in August, from 10.5 mn units/year in July. Any meaningful recovery in demand, following the improved economic backdrop in the region, is now being held back by the supply‐side semiconductor shortage.
In Germany, the selling rate improved slightly to 2.8 mn units/year in August, from 2.7 mn units/year previously. The UK PV selling rate improved to 2.3 mn units/year in August from July’s 1.8 mn units/year. For France, the selling rate increased to 1.9 mn units/year. In Spain, the selling rate remained at a disappointing level only improving slightly to 900k units/year. Finally, in Italy, the selling rate picked up to 1.7 mn units/year, though this is still below 2019’s more normal outturn of 1.9 mn units.
For the first eight months of the year, the Western European average selling rate now stands at 11.0 units/year. By comparison, the average annual total between 2017‐19 was a little under 14.3 mn units. While the pandemic is not over in the region, the single biggest challenge facing the industry is now the auto chip shortage, which is currently constraining vehicle registration figures due to the lack of availability of vehicles (and those vehicles that are available being higher priced). With the current challenges likely to continue well into next year, we have lowered our near‐term outlook in recent months, only seeing a more pronounced pick up in selling rates over the course of the second half of next year, when supply constraints ease, and no doubt buoyed by some delayed registrations.