In February 2023, the EU passenger car market continued to perform well, growing by 11.5% to 802,763 units. However, it is important to note the low base of comparison due to the semiconductor shortage crisis at the beginning of 2022, the European Automobile Manufacturers' Association (ACEA) says today.
According to the recent data of ACEA, most EU markets showed strong growth, including the four largest ones, with Spain and Italy experiencing the most significant increases (+19.2% and +17.4% respectively).
In the first two months of the year, the EU market reached almost 1.6 million new cars registered, up 11.4% from the previous year, thanks to double-digit increases in both January and February. Looking at the four major EU markets, Spain (+32.1%) and Italy (+18.2%) saw the highest gains, followed by France (+9.1%). German car registrations remained flat (+0.2%) during this two-month period.
In February, there was a rise in the number of battery electric and hybrid cars registered in the EU, now representing 12.1% and 25.5% of the market respectively. However, petrol remained the top choice for newly-registered cars in the EU, with a market share of 36.9%.
Last month, new battery electric vehicle (BEV) registrations in the EU increased by 39.7% to reach 97,300 cars, resulting in a market share of 12.1%, compared to 9.7% in February 2022. Except for the Czech Republic (-3.2%) and Slovakia (-28.2%), all markets in the region contributed to this growth with double- and triple-digit percentage gains, including the three largest ones: Germany (+14.7%), France (+45.7%), and the Netherlands (+88.9%).
Hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs) also had a strong month, with sales increasing by 22.3% to 204,883 units. This growth was largely sustained by double-digit gains in the region’s four key markets: Spain (+31.8%), France (+24.6%), Germany (+24.2%) and Italy (+23.9%). As a result, HEVs achieved a market share of 25.5%, up from 23.3% in February 2022.
By contrast, registrations of plug-in hybrid vehicles (PHEVs) in the EU decreased by 7.4% to 57,569 cars sold. This decline was mainly due to a significant drop in German sales (-44.8%), following the end of subsidies for plug-in hybrids in 2022.
Petrol and diesel cars
In February 2023, registrations of new petrol cars in the EU rose by 11.1%, holding a market share of 36.9%, which is on par with the share recorded in 2022. Spain (+19.0%), Italy (+16.3%), Germany (+8.9%) and France (+7.7%) all contributed to this growth.
On the other hand, the diesel car market in the EU continued to decline (-8.4%), despite increases in some Central European markets like Poland (+18.9%) and the Czech Republic (+12.4%), as well as in Italy (+2.2%). This resulted in a market share of 15.0%, down 3.2 percentage points from February 2022.
About the EU automobile industry
13.0 million Europeans work in the automotive sector;
11.5% of all manufacturing jobs in the EU;
€374.6 billion in tax revenue for European governments;
€79.5 billion trade surplus for the European Union;
Almost 8% of EU GDP generated by the auto industry;
€58.8 billion in R&D spending annually, 32% of EU total.
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