Brussels – 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. The automobile industry’s trade association publishes
the Economic Report three times a year, giving additional insight in
market trends and automotive production.
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