Oxford, UK – West European car registrations in February 2021 were down compared with February 2020 at 759,000 units, according to data from LMC Automotive. This is a reduction of 21.3%.
Western Europe's automotive market adrift in February 2021
In February the previous year, a total of 963,000 units were registered.
The consultants said that the numbers show the region is still in the middle of a crisis. ‘Most markets remain marred by pandemic-induced restrictions, though some progress on vaccine roll-out, albeit gradual, means there is light at the end of the tunnel,’ they said.
Looking at the largest markets, in Germany sales were down 19.0% in February. Registrations were 194,000 units, with sales so far down 25% in 2021. Changes in VAT helped distort the German market in February, LMC said.
In the UK, sales were down 38% year on year, at a total of 51,300 cars in the month.
In France, the year-on-year number of registrations fell by 14.2%, with the total number of car sold there in the first two months of 2021 was 259,000. Spanish sales were down by 38.4% in the month, at 58,000 units.
Italian sales were down by 12.2% at 143,000 units in February. In all, 277,000 vehicles have been sold there in the year to date.
In the first two months of 2021, the European automotive market shrank by 23.5% to 1.52m units, from 1.99m units in the same period in 2020.
LMC Automotive estimates that the market will improve in the second half of 2021 as vaccine roll-outs pick up speed and confidence increases. They said there should be 'a marked improvement in sales for full-year 2021 compared with 2020, and estimate that the market could be for 12.1m cars and light vehicles.