European car market slumps to 20-year low

Jato Dynamics has reported that the strength of the European new car market continued to deteriorate last month. In November, registrations posted the lowest level for November over the last three decades, with a total volume sold of 855,281 units across 25 European markets.

Compared to November 2020, the total volume last month was 18% down and 29% lower when compared to November 2019.

Felipe Munoz, global analyst at JATO Dynamics, said: “Although the market has not recovered entirely from the pandemic, the current problem does not relate to a lack of demand, but rather a lack of supply.”

As a result, year-to-date growth in registrations fell to just 0.4% compared to 2020, and the year is expected to end with similarly low figures.

Munoz said: “When you consider the chip shortage in combination with local lockdowns experienced over the course of this year, there is a clear backlog of consumers wishing to renew their cars. This delay could have two main impacts: the first being that we see a large uptick in registrations next year if the shortage is solved; the second that consumers begin to adapt their buying patterns, moving toward keeping their vehicles for longer periods.”

Despite the difficult environment, registrations of low emissions cars in Europe-23 totalled 217,709 units last month, accounting for 26% of total registrations. Registered units of these vehicles hugely outweighed its diesel counterpart in November, with the volume for low emissions cars 41% higher than achieved for diesel. While the volume for gasoline vehicles was more than double (2.1x) the volume recorded for low emissions cars.

Munoz said: “If you want a new car in this current environment, the chances are that EVs are going to be more accessible given the range of offers and incentives available.”