Also in May, the car market in Europe (EU + UK + EFTA) registers a sharp drop in registrations. With 948,149 registered vehicles compared to 1,083,255 in May 2021, the fall in the month is 12.5%, more contained than in the previous two months, but still double-digit. Approximately the same level is the figure for the first five months (-12.9%), which with 4,531,598 registered units recorded a loss of over 670,000 cars compared to 5,203,970 in January-May 2021.
Based on the results of the first five months, the estimate accredited by some international analysts indicates that the Western European market in 2022 may fall to less than 10 million cars sold, with a loss of about 1/3 compared to the figures from the previous period. pandemic and -7.4% compared to 2021. Losses could be higher if the conflict in Ukraine were to continue and if the slowdown in the supply chain were to worsen due to China’s decisions in relation to the Covid 19 epidemic.
In the same month, data on the five major markets in Europe suggest a fall of between 10% and 11% for Germany, France and Spain and 15% for Italy, outnumbered by the United Kingdom by -20.6%. Italy, on the other hand, has the worst performance (-23.9%) in the cumulative period January-May. Measured in absolute quantities, Italy is confirmed as the fourth market among the five largest countries, both in the May ranking and in the first five months.
In May, Italy saw its share of electric cars on tap increase slightly (9.7%), leaving Spain in last place (7.9%), but remaining very far from the positions in Germany (25, 3%), France (20, 9%). %) and the United Kingdom (18.3%).
“The targets for the FitFor55 program up to 2035, as approved by the European Parliament a few days ago, are certainly ambitious and perhaps – as ACEA, the European Association of Car Manufacturers claims – even premature, in a context of enormous uncertainty and very rapid technological evolution. “, says Andrea Cardinali, Director General of UNRAE. “If these objectives were to be confirmed at the end of the long process that awaits them in the “trilogue” (next phase, the Environmental Council on 28 June), then a truly epoch-making effort will be required for all the actors involved.. Not only the car manufacturers, who in recent years have invested hundreds of billions to bring to market around 170 new models with connectors, between pure electricity and plug-in hybrid, but also the entire upstream and downstream supply chain ”.
“In particular – adds Cardinals – it will be crucial that binding and equally ambitious targets are set for national governments for infrastructure recharging and that a precise step-by-step process is followed. For the public sector alone (but the private sector is just as important and requires large tax deductions), ACEA is asking for 6.8 million charging points by 2030, against the 4.9 million indicated by the European institutions and the current 300,000. That equates to 14,000 new public charging points every week, compared to around 2,000 today: an investment of 8 billion euros, of which 16% was to be concentrated on the expansion of the 5G network and the high-speed Internet network. “On this infrastructure path, which is already inadequate at European level, Italy is suffering from a further delay that needs to be bridged as soon as possible, especially on motorways and suburbs: PNRR funding alone, 750 million in 2026, is not enough, and the time schedule for their supply is not yet known “.
“Also the other side of the equation – the director continues – the inevitable support for demand that must accompany the energy transition suffers in Italy from some serious weaknesses. Not only the 180-day deadline for registration of incentive cars, unrealistic in the current crisis in the supply chains, but above all the exclusion from the benefits for legal entities, the natural engine of the transition. A category already penalized by a tax treatment that undermines its international competitiveness, with low limits on VAT deductions and costs for mixed-use cars.
“Moreover – Andrea Cardinali ends – despite the exclusion of half the audience of potential recipients, the allocation of funds to vehicles with the plug – which this year should be sufficient, but only thanks to the delayed departure – has already been announced to be largely inadequate for the years to come. If you really want to guide consumers towards less stressful engines, it is clear from now on that the funds will be heavily refinanced, otherwise you risk what has just happened with the cars with emissions of 61-135 g / km, sold out at less. three weeks”.
France – French car market loses 10%
Sales of passenger cars in France in May fell by 10.1% compared to the same month of the year, with 126,809 registrations in 2022 compared to 141,040 in 2021. The total number of the first 5 months collected 600,893 units against 723,257 in the same period. of 2021 (-16.9%). In May, the performance of the BEVs was excellent with earnings of 31.9% and 4 percentage points, reaching a share of 8.4%. PHEVs lose 25.5% and fall to 5.9% (-0.4 pp), while HEVs regain 11.4% and go from 16.6% to 20.5% representativeness. In the 5 months, the traditional engines continue to lose ground: the petrol engine drops to 37.7% (-5.5 pp) and diesel to 16.6% (-7.1 pp). The result obtained by the BEVs was excellent (+ 31.9%), which regained almost 4 pp of the share and stood at 12.0%. Double-digit growth, but more restrained, also for HEVs, which, thanks to an increase in sales of 11.4%, capture 1/5 of the total market. CO emissions2 that the country registered in the month of May is 104.0 g / km, compared to 109.8 g / km a year ago.
Germany – Car market still shows a negative sign: May -10.2%
In Germany, too, international uncertainty and a shortage of microchips are causing another drop in the car market: in fact, 207,199 new cars were registered in May, 10.2% less than in May 2021. After the first 5 months of the year, that is why. 2021 registers 1,013,417 vehicles, 9.3% less than last year. ECV sales fell slightly in May (-3.0%), with BEVs regaining ground and reaching 14.1% representativeness, and PHEVs losing 0.6 percentage points and falling to 11.2%. HEVs were stable (0.8%) at 37,450 at 18.1% representativeness. In the cumulative growth, BEVs grew by 17.1% and PHEVs lost 14.8% to 13.3% and 11.1% of the stock, respectively. HEVs increased by 10.5%, representing 19.2% of the total market. In terms of sales channels, private individuals fell by 2.6% to 36.5% of the share compared to 63.4% of legal entities (-14.0%).
UK – The second May weakest in the last three decades
The car market in the UK in May marks another double-digit decline: the 124,394 registrations actually register -20.6% compared to the 156,737 in May 2021 and mean the second worst May since 1992 (after the closure in 2020). Compared to 2019, the year before the pandemic, the decline has been 32.3%. The cumulative report shows 661,121 units, a decrease of 8.7% compared to 723,845 in the first 5 months of 2021. These results are also hampered by the lack of supplies, which creates delays in fulfilling orders. With regard to sales channels, it should be noted for May that private individuals lose less than the market and regain 6.1 percentage points to 53.2% of the share. The worst performance is reserved for fleets, which lost 29.9% of their volume (with a share of 44.7%); companies also fell sharply (-27.1%). Despite all the difficulties, car manufacturers continue to make progress in the process of decarbonising road transport: in May, BEVs increased by 17.7%, representing 1/8 of total sales (12.4% versus 8.4%) . On the other hand, hybrid PHEVs lost 25.5% by volume (5.9% share) and HEVs, which reached a share of 30%, by 12.4%.
Spain – In May the best sales volume of the year, but there is still a decrease (-10.9%)
Another negative sign for the car in Spain, albeit the best of the year: May ended with a 10.9% reduction in registrations by a total of 84,977 units. Primarily due to the microchip crisis and the macroeconomic context, results are still lower than in 2021. The January-May balance is therefore 318,487 new cars (-11.5%). Sales to individuals and companies increased by 4.3% and 3.3%, respectively, compared with a decrease of 41.4% in rent. In terms of engines, the double-digit growth of BEVs (+ 11.0%) to 2.3% share and HEVs (+ 10.5%) to 29.0% share should be noted in May. In positive territory also the PHEVs, which regained almost 1 pp, at 5.6%. The average emission of CO2 for the month, they show a decrease of 2.9%. The current situation suggests – according to the Spanish trade associations – a market in 2022 closer to 800,000 units, very far from the volumes that the economy, the sector and the decarbonisation process would need.