LMC Automotive European Passenger Car Sales Update (January 2023)



  • The Western Europe PV selling rate fell from 13.1 mn units/year in December to 10.7 mn units/year in January 2023 — the 2022 year‐end having enjoyed a stronger selling rate in part due to legislation changes pulling forward sales. In raw monthly registration terms, January 2023 was up 9.8% year‐on‐year (YoY), at 810k units.
  • The German PV selling rate for January 2023 fell below 2.6 mn units/year, from the strong 4.2 mn units/year rate recorded the previous month. For the UK, the PV selling rate increased to 2.1 mn units/year from 1.9 mn units/year in December. The French PV selling rate fell slightly from 1.7 mn units in December to 1.6 mn units/year in January 2023. The Italian PV selling rate fell sharply in January 2023 to 1.4 mn units/year, signalling an end to the four‐month run of growing selling rates at the backend of 2022. Spain’s selling rate for January stood at 900k units/year, broadly in line with December 2022 and a little lower than November.
  • Vehicle supply constraints continues to persist into 2023 for West European countries as the demand for vehicles still outweighs supply. However, our forecast assumes that the production bottlenecks will ease during 2023, resulting in YoY growth in registrations for the year. That said, the market is expected to remain some way down on 2019 levels. From a macroeconomic point of view, West European countries are experiencing recessionary conditions, with higher prices and interest rates squeezing real household incomes. Although a clear downside risk to the outlook comes in the form of a more pronounced macroeconomic decline, order backlogs provide some cushion to this.

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