European car sales drop 4.6% on year in 2022: ACEA

New passenger car registrations in the European Union rose 12.8% on the year to 896,967 units in December, the fifth consecutive year-on-year increase, but full-year sales dropped 4.6% from 2021 to 9.3 million units, European Automobile Manufacturers Association (ACEA) data released Jan. 18 said.

Although the market improved from August to December, the overall 2022 sales were the lowest level since 1993’s 9.2 million units.

The auto market has been facing supply issues due to the ongoing semiconductor shortage, which in turn has impacted production.

This has also somewhat impacted the steel demand. Platts, part of S&P Global Commodity Insights, assessed domestic hot-rolled coil prices in Northern Europe at Eur680/mt ($738.80/mt) ex-works Ruhr Dec. 30, 26.2% lower than it was at the start of 2022.

The December volume was up 8.1% month on month and at the highest monthly level since June 2021.

The EU’s largest car market, Germany, saw new car registrations increase 38.1% year on year to 314,318 units in December, also up 20.7% month on month to the highest level since July 2020.

German car registrations for 2022 totaled 2.65 million units, up 1.1% year on year .

In the second largest market, France, sales in December were down 0.1% year on year, but rose 18% month on month to a six-month high of 158,027 units. The full-year sales in France totaled 1.53 million units, down 7.8% from 2021.

December car sales in Italy climbed 21% year on year to 104,915 units, but fell 12.5% from November to a four-month low. Italy’s 2022 total sales fell 9.7% year on year to 1.32 million units.

In Spain, 73,937 units were sold in December, falling 14.1% on the year, but up 1% on the month, bringing full-year sales to 813,396 units in 2022, down 5.4% year on year.

— Jacqueline Holman