EU new car sales rise for first time in more than a year, still below pre-pandemic levels

Sales of new passenger cars in the European Union returned to growth in August, following the 13 consecutive months in decline because of the global semiconductor shortage, according to the European Automotive Manufacturers Association (Acea).In August EU new car sales increased by 4.42% to 650,291 units, with the EU’s four largest markets all gaining, Acea said on Friday September 16.

The August rise follows a 10.40% year-on-year decline in July when 738,226 units were sold.

It is unclear whether the rise in August is related to the end of the global semiconductor shortage or in comparison with a particularly poor August in 2021.

With earlier declines weighing negatively on cumulative results, EU new car sales fell 11.91% from January to August to just under 6 million units.

January-August new car sales fell by 18.42% in Italy to 865,044 units; by 13.81% in France to 1,126,543 units; by 9.75% in Germany to 1,820,589 vehicles and in by 9.39% in Spain where 588,313 new cars were sold.

Demand from the EU automotive industry plays an important role for the struggling regional steel flat steel market, because, on average, about 900kg of steel is used in each car, according to the World Steel Association (Worldsteel).

Fastmarkets’ weekly price assessment for steel hot-dipped galvanized coil, domestic, exw Northern Europe was €880-900 ($880-900) per tonne on Wednesday September 14, unchanged week-on-week, but down from €920-950 per tonne on August 17 . A year ago the price was 1,280-1,300 per tonne exw.

Published by: Elina Virchenko