- Feb 21, 2020-

EU passenger car registrations leap 21.7% in December

In December 2019, EU passenger car demand grew for the fourth month in a row (+21.7%), marking the
highest December total on record to date, according to data from the European Automobile Manufacturers’
Association (ACEA). The result was partially the result of a low base of comparison, as registrations fell by
8.4% in December 2018. However, specific market changes also contributed to the exceptional growth, the
group said.
A surge in car sales was observed in France (+27.7%) and Sweden (+109.3%), as both countries
announced significant changes to the bonus-malus component of CO2-based taxation for 2020, while the
Netherlands (+113.9%) decided to increase taxation of electric company cars from 4% to 8% as from
January 2020. As a result, all EU countries – including the five big markets – posted solid growth rates in
Overall in 2019, new-car registrations increased by 1.2% across the European Union, reaching more than
15.3 million units in total and marking the sixth consecutive year of growth, the ACEA said. The year started
on weak footing due to the lasting impact of the introduction of the WLTP test in September 2018. Yet, the
final quarter of 2019, and December in particular, pushed the full-year performance of the EU market into
positive territory.
Looking at the five major EU markets, Germany (+5.0%) recorded the largest increase last year, followed
by France (+1.9%) and Italy (+0.3%). By contrast, both Spain (-4.8%) and the UK (-2.4%) saw demand fall
in 2019.