Car production and demand in the EU rebounded in the first months of 2010 compared to the very low levels of 2009.
The trend, however, slowed as the year progressed and the impact of temporary factors faded. Contrary to passenger cars, production of heavy trucks was still down in the first quarter of 2010.
These and other figures can be found in the latest ACEA Economic Report, published today.
New passenger car production in the EU recorded a rebound of 34% three months into the year, compared to the first quarter of 2009. However, production was still 13% down when compared to the first quarter of 2008. The same picture emerged in the segment of vans. Despite a 51% increase three months into the year 2010, production of vans remained 35% below the pre-crisis level of 2008. Truck production decreased by 5% until April this year, and by 63% compared to the first quarter of 2008. The segment of buses declined by 22% three months into the year compared to the same period in 2009.
In units produced, Germany remained the largest auto manufacturing country in the EU (1.4 million units, +33%), while the UK saw its car production pick up most (+72.7%) compared to the first quarter of the previous year. Except for Finland (-59.5%), Belgium (-10.5%), the Netherlands (-7.5%) and Italy (-0.1%), all countries posted growth.
In 2010, demand for new passenger cars in the EU continued to grow until a 7.4% decline was noted in April. In May, new registrations further decreased by 9.3%. The recent drops reflect both the end to government support schemes as well as the continuing challenging economic situation in the EU.
From January to May, small cars (segments A and B) accounted for 44.6% of the total market for new cars compared to 45.3% in the same period of 2009. Half of all new cars registered had a diesel engine, compared to 46.3% over January – May last year.
Demand for commercial vehicles cautiously points towards recovery, although the segment of vans was the only one to record positive figures since February