ERJ staff report (DS)
Brussels -- Following a marked decline in the second half of 2008 and the first half of 2009, European new car registrations picked up in the second half of last year, largely due to the impact of fleet renewal schemes in a number of major markets. In total, 14,481,545 new cars were registered in 2009; 1.6% less than in 2008 and 9.5% less than in 2007.
In December 2009, demand for new cars rose by 16.0%, mounting to 1,074,438 units compared to the same month in 2008, but down a little on a relatively strong November.
In Western Europe, new car registrations were up 19.3% in December, reaching 1,003,757 units. Markets in Switzerland (-4.4%), Germany (-4.6%), Finland (-8.1%) and Portugal (-17.9%) declined compared to last year, while registrations increased by 16.7% in Italy, 25.1% in Spain, 38.9 in the UK and 48.6% in France.
The West European market ended the whole year 2009 on levels similar to 2008 (+0.5%) and down 7.9% compared to 2007. In 2009, only Austria (+8.8%), France (+10.7%) and Germany (+23.2%) posted growth compared to 2008, with results lifted by scrapping incentives. Results were cushioned for similar reasons in Italy (-0.2%), the UK (-6.4%) and Spain (-17.9%). In total, 13,632,918 new cars were registered in the region.
In the new EU Member States, December results were positive for only the Czech Republic (+43.8%) and Slovenia (+12.4%). Elsewhere, the downturn prevailed, ranging from -3.9% in Poland to -79.3% in Latvia and resulting in an overall 16.5% decrease in the region.
From January to December, only the Czech Republic (+12.5%) and Slovakia (+6.7%) recorded a significant increase. The region as a whole faced a 26.6% downturn with 848,627 new cars registered, compared to 1,156,169 units in 2008.
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Press release from ACEA