Renta 4 | Private vehicle registrations (passenger cars and SUVs) fell by 11.8% in France in December, a decline which extends to 15.8% in terms of purchases, since December 2020 had one day more of sales than 2019. For the year as a whole, the drop is 25.5% with a total volume of 1.65 million units sold. If we include light utility vehicles (vans) the decline would be 10.1% in December and 23.8% for the year as a whole, to 2.05 million units. Commercial vehicles sales increased by 2.5% in December, with a fall of 24.5% for the year as a whole, after registering sales of 41.7 thousand units.
Meanwhile, private vehicle registrations in Spain (passenger cars and off-road vehicles) increased by 0.1% in December, ending the year with a fall of 32% to 850.000 units. The light commercial vehicle market fell by 3.2% in December, with sales of 157.000 units, representing a drop of 27% for the year as a whole. The industrial vehicle segment dropped by 22% to 19.000 units in 2020, with a slight increase of 3% in December.
The poor sales data in the main EU countries will eventually be reflected in production volumes, which we estimate in Q4’20 have evolved above the sales curve and will tend to adjust to the reality of the market. Even more so if we consider that the implementation of the new WLTP type-approval cycle as of January 1st will lead to an increase in the retail price of vehicles. This is due to the average increase in the applicable circulation tax, as well as a possible rise in fuel prices in several important markets (regardless of the evolution of oil prices) due to new legislation on energy, which we understand will not support the recovery of vehicle sales in the coming months.