September West EU Car Sales in Severe Supply Slump

The West European passenger car selling rate dropped to 9.7 million  units annually during September. This was a sharp drop from the 11.9 mn units/year in August, according to consultancy LMC Automotive.

“The latest monthly results are clear evidence of the major sourcing issues that are haunting global vehicle production currently, with dealerships unable to meet consumer demand. Adding to market headwinds, those vehicles that are available are generally higher priced, as OEMs look to target the production of higher margin products,” said LMC.

Ken Zino of on West European Passenger Sales in Supply Slump

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In Germany, the selling rate dropped to 2.3 mn units/year in September, from 2.8 mn units/year the previous month. The UK selling rate nosedived to 1.2 mn units/year, in what was the worst September for over two decades. In France, the selling rate fell to 1.6 mn units/year. The Spanish selling rate was the only market to mark a slight improvement on the month before, this time to 920k units/year, “though this is still well below 2019’s output of 1.3 mn units,” observed LMC. In Italy, the selling rate fell to 1.3 mn units/year, marking the worst result since May last year.

LMC has cut its forecast once again – reflecting the ongoing and deeper impact of the supply disruption, with tight inventory unable to absorb the impact of the disruption. LMC is currently saying 2021 will not eclipse “the desperately weak 2020 result.”

LMC assumes that sourcing issues will remain throughout next year – weakening the connection between positive underlying demand and new vehicle sales. “The downside risk of some form of virus-related restrictions remains, though in terms of the market, this is presently being overshadowed by vehicle production bottlenecks,” said LMC.

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