New car registrations fell in the four largest European markets in October, as private demand and EVs offset losses

New car sales fell by around 3.6% in Germany in October to 274,300 new registrations according to the Federal Motor Transport Authority. Private buyers drove sales, with demand up 7% as consumers sought to take advantage of government backed incentives. Battery electric cars accounted for 8.4% of new car registrations in October, a 365% increase compared with the same month in 2019. Combined with hybrids, the share of non-fossil-fuel cars hit 17.5%, a new high.

In Spain, new car sales declined by -21% with a total of 74.228 units registered, bringing the year-to-date market down by -35%. Registrations of light commercials

were down by -4% from October 2019, with 16,574 units.

In Italy, the market was stable in October (-0.18%) thanks to an 11% increase in demand from private buyers supported by a number of subsidies. Year to date the market is 30.9% below last year’s levels with 1,131,466 units.

The French new car market declined by -9.5% despite the range of incentives available which have been labelled by some as ‘insufficient’ and ‘complicated’. Year to date, registrations are down -26.9% and are set to deteriorate further in light of the COVID-19 measures recently introduced. Sales of light commercials declined by -4.1% and are now down -18.8% year to date.