Still struggling, Europe’s new car market is set to decline by 4.6% in 2022

A slight improvement in sales since August has not bucked the trend: the European market for new cars fell 4.6% year-on-year, with just 9.3 million vehicles sold. It has thus returned to the 1993 level (9.2 million cars sold), the manufacturers’ association (ACEA) said on Wednesday.

However, the market experienced five consecutive months of growth and +12.8% in December. But that didn’t make up for a significantly slower start to the year than Europe has experienced since 2021 with a chip shortage, ACEA said in a statement. These components are essential for the assembly of the cars, and logistical problems made their route a bit more difficult. An already difficult 2020 was marked by factory closures and health restrictions.

However, one country is doing well: Germany, the only European country to remain stable in December (+1.1%). Italy fell by 9.7%, Spain by 5.4%, Poland by 6%, the Netherlands by 3.2% and Belgium by 4.4%. For its part, France recorded a decrease of 7.8% compared to 2022.

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Volkswagen is still the leader in the European market

In detail, the Volkswagen group, the European market leader, is doing well with a good end to the year and sales of 2.3 million vehicles in 2022 with a stable market share of 25.1%. The group favored its premium brands Audi and Porsche, which showed good sales, to the detriment of its generic brands such as Skoda and Seat.

After resisting well in 2021, number two Stellantis shows a stronger decline (-14.1%), with market share falling to 19.7%. Jeep, Citroën and Fiat are among the brands experiencing the strongest slowdown.

Better protected from shortages, Korea’s Hyundai-Kia group had a good year with a market share of up to 9.2% (+2.6) when the Toyota hybrid rose for the second year in a row (+7.7%, 6.3% market share %) announced. cars. Finally, BMW-Mini fell by 5.1%, while Mercedes remained stable.

A 5.9% drop in sales for Renault

As for Renault, the group is experiencing a 5.9% decline in total sales in 2022, with two million vehicles sold. A figure that does not include its activities in Russia, a country the group left in May 2022 due to the war in Ukraine. Renault, which dominates the market with its Lada brand in particular, sold its shares to the Russian state.

Globally, Renault brand sales increased by 14.6% or 1,466,729 vehicles in 2022 compared to 1,751,000 in 2021. While Renault saw its sales fall faster than the market average, it remains on the European electric sales podium behind Tesla and Tesla. Volkswagen. Especially since this weak result was compensated by the economy brand Dacia (+6.8%). Sales of the low-cost brand were led by the small Sandero and SUV Duster, which were number one and two respectively in private sales in Europe, as well as the small electric Spring.

This is the fourth year in a row for the French group to sell almost half as many cars in 2022 as in 2018, a record year for the French manufacturer to benefit from the success of budget models.

Production improvement

But after the departure of former CEO Carlos Ghosn, the company made a 180-degree turn. “The Renault Group continues its commercial strategy focused on value creation, which leads to an increase in its sales share in the most profitable channels”, or sold to businesses at the cost of sales to individuals, the manufacturer’s management commented in a press release. Like the rest of Europe’s industry, the group is paying a high price for problems with the supply of electronic chips that have limited its ability to deliver cars.

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Production improved in the second half of the year, although it remained affected by transportation problems for new cars. Thus, the group’s order book in Europe remains at a 3.5-month sales record as of December 31, 2022. The recently relaunched sports brand Alpine confirms growth in 2022 with sales of 3,546 units (+33%). . Renault plans to significantly expand this range in the coming years.

(via AFP)