May Vehicle Sales in Europe at Lowest Level in 20 Years; Will Future EV Plans be Abandoned as Automakers Try to Recover?
Sales of electric vehicles in Europe are growing. However, the continuing collapse of the European automotive market concerns us.
European Automobile Manufacturers Association reported that the number of newly registered vehicles in Europe in May fell to the lowest level in 20 years.
The total number of registration in 27 European Union countries (excluding Malta) in May was only 1.042 million, the lowest since May 1993 when customers bought less than a million cars. The decrease, compared to May 2012, is 5.9%.
Similarly poor results are seen in the first 5 months of 2013. The YTD number of registrations, at the level of 5.070 million units, is 6.8% weaker than in the corresponding period of 2012. To make matters worse, there is no evidence for improvement in the situation over the next few years.
Moreover, data provided by the Comité des Constructeurs Français d’Automobiles, indicates that 58% of the production capacity of automotive plants in Europe remains unused.
With Europe’s economy plunging into recession and the auto industry collapsing on the continent, it’s likely that sales of electric vehicles sooner or later will also be hit. New models on the market (Renault Zoe, Tesla Model S, BMW i3) probably will give EVs growth in Europe in 2013 but 2014 and beyond will be difficult.
Furthermore, the struggles in Europe may convince automakers to abandon future plug-in vehicle efforts as they race to recover from this downslide.