EU new car sales stall in August after promising signs of recovery in July

Sales of passenger cars in Europe slumped again in August after brief signs of a revival in July, according to the latest data from the European Automotive Manufacturers Association (ACEA).

In July, there were signs of a pick-up in demand with only a relatively small overall decline of 5.66% year on year following six consecutive months of double-digit decline.

In August, however, the trend turned to negative again and demand for cars fell by 18.91% year on year in the EU, ACEA said on Thursday September 17.

New car sales in Europe totaled 1,072,960 vehicles in July 2020, down from 1,137,378 units in the same month in 2019.

“Seven of the 27 member states posted growth in July, including France (+3.9%) and Spain (+1.1%). Outside the EU, the United Kingdom (+11.3%), Iceland (+44.5%) and Norway (+6.5%) also showed the first signs of recovery,” ACEA said.

New car registrations in the EU totaled 769,525 vehicles in August, down from 949,034 units in the corresponding month of 2019.

“During the month of August, however, the EU car market posted a stronger decline again, although less dramatic than earlier in the year,” ACEA said.

“Looking at the four major EU markets, Italy performed best, with a slight drop of 0.4%, while the strongest declines were seen in Germany (-20.0%) and France (-19.8%),” the association added.

Fastmarkets’ weekly price assessment for steel hot-dipped galvanized coil, domestic, exw Northern Europe was €550-570 ($651-675) per tonne on September 16, reflecting deals heard in the market.

Domestic HDG prices have been supported in September by increased demand from automotive industry, market sources said.

On average, about 900kg of steel is used in each car, according to the World Steel Association (Worldsteel).


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