ACEA reports EU car registrations surge in May

June 21, 2023

New passenger car registrations in the EU, showing the 12-month trend (Courtesy ACEA)
New passenger car registrations in the EU, showing the 12-month trend (Courtesy ACEA)

The European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA) has reported that in May 2023, the EU car market saw a significant increase in passenger car registrations, with nearly one million units. This demonstrates an 18.5% growth from the previous year marking the tenth consecutive month of growth. All the EU’s four largest markets grew, with the strongest gains in Italy (+23.1%), Germany (+19.2%), and France (+14.8%).

From January to May 2023, the EU car market grew by 18%, to 4.4 million registered cars. Although the market improved in May, year-to-date sales were 23% lower compared to the same month in 2019, when 5.7 million units were registered. In this five-month period, there were double-digit gains in most markets, including the four largest: Spain (+26.9%), Italy (+26.1%), France (+16.3%), and Germany (+10.2%).

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Fuel types of new cars

The ACEA also shared information on the fuel types of cars being registered. In May, the market share of battery electric cars saw a substantial increase from 9.6% to 13.8%. Hybrid electric cars are now the second-most popular choice for new car buyers, accounting for almost a quarter of the market. However, petrol cars still have the largest share at 36.5%.

It was also reported that last month, the new registrations of battery electric cars in the EU experienced a significant boost, rising by 70.9% to reach 129,847 units. This equates to a market share of 13.8%, and a four percentage point increase compared to May 2022. Most EU markets reportedly recorded impressive double- and triple-digit percentage gains, including the four largest: the Netherlands (+118.4%), Sweden (+82.6%), France (+48.7%), and Germany (+46.6%). Overall, this resulted in a cumulative increase of 50.5%, with over half a million units sold from January to May.

Hybrid cars reportedly maintained their growth momentum, as sales increased by 27.6% to reach 234,380 units in May. This result was largely driven by double-digit growth in the EU’s four largest markets: Germany (+54.5%), Italy (+27.2%), France (+22.1%), and Spain (+10.3%). As a result, hybrid electric cars are now the second-most popular choice for new car buyers, accounting for almost a quarter of the market (up from 23.2% in May 2022).

Contrastingly, the EU market for new plug-in hybrid cars declined slightly, with registrations decreasing by 0.6% in May. This decline was primarily driven by a significant drop in sales in Germany (-40.5%), the largest market for this fuel type, as incentives for plug-in hybrids were discontinued in 2022. As a result, the overall market share of plug-in hybrid cars decreased to 7.4% compared to 8.8% in May last year.

Petrol cars, however, grew by 12.6% in the EU market in May. Despite this, market share stood at 36.5%, nearly two percentage points less than in May 2022. Growth was mainly driven by increases in the four largest EU markets, most notably Italy (+23.9%), France (+18.3%), and Germany (+17.6%). From January to May, more than 1.6 million petrol cars were sold in the EU, a remarkable 17% increase from the same period in 2022.

Contrastingly, the EU diesel car market declined by 2.9% last month, despite performing well in two of the bloc’s largest markets: Italy (+24.3%) and Germany (+3.6%). Diesel cars now account for 14.3% of the EU market share, down from 17.4% in May 2022.

www.acea.auto

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