February a month of few surprises for West European vehicle sales

Following the publication of data by European automotive constructors’ trade body ACEA showing that new passenger car registrations in the European Union dropped by 19.3% in February;

Calum MacRae, Automotive Analyst at GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company, offers his view:

“We track light commercial vehicles (LCVs) as well as passenger cars and February was a month of few surprises for overall light vehicle sales in Western Europe.

“If anything, sales tracked slightly better than GlobalData’s forecasts for the month. There’s still quite a lot of volatility and variability at national level though, with countries at different points in their response to the public health crisis – which certainly has not gone away. For the year, the current forecast is for a 20.3% increase in the region’s sales, but they will still be under pre-pandemic levels. As ever, the forecasts remain contingent on development of COVID-19 infection rates and the parallel roll out of vaccination programs.

“One bright spot is LCVs which are benefitting from higher sales to fleets involved in urban goods delivery. For example, the UK saw a 36% decline in new car sales in February with car showrooms shut, while LCV sales surged 22% on year-ago levels.”

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