Car sales in Europe: petrol and diesel models slump


published on Wednesday, July 20, 2022 at 11:30 a.m.

Sales of diesel and petrol cars were particularly affected by the paralysis of the European market in the second quarter, while hybrids and electrics slowed their market conquest.

Sales of gasoline cars fell 22.2% year on year, to 909,000 vehicles, and accounted for 38.5% of the new market in the second quarter in the European Union, according to figures published on Wednesday by the association of builders, ACEA.

Diesel models fell in all markets, with 409,000 vehicles sold in the EU (-27.7%), and only accounted for 17.3% of sales, compared to still 20.2% over the same period in 2021 .

Internal combustion engines are particularly suffering in a market paralyzed by the shortage of electronic components: car sales overall fell by 14% in the EU in the first half of 2022 compared to the same period of 2021. Some 4.6 million new vehicles were sold in the EU, where all major markets posted double-digit declines.

Hybrid cars, driven by bonuses and promoted by manufacturers, but hampered by shortages and the economic context, also saw their sales decline slightly in the EU (-2.2%).

They fell sharply in Italy and Germany over the quarter, in line with the market, but continued to rise in France, Spain, Belgium and Poland.

At Union level, the market share of hybrids continues to increase: these engines now represent 22.6% of sales.

Plug-in hybrids (equipped with a small rechargeable electric battery on a socket or terminal), for their part, remained on a downward trend that began at the end of 2021 (-12.5%), with a very marked decline in France and in Germany, while the real level of their CO2 emissions is criticized because it is close to that of thermal cars.

They now represent 8.7% of sales, with 206,000 cars sold.

– Electric turn –

The category of 100% electric cars is the only one to progress (+11%), with 243,000 cars sold, but its conquest of the market is also slowed down by supply problems. It represents 9.9% of sales.

This limited performance can be explained by the supply difficulties of one of the European market leaders, Volkswagen, linked to the production of certain parts in Ukraine, slowed down by the war.

The German group’s electrical sales fell 16.5% in the second quarter in Europe, while they rose 33.6% in the first quarter.

The electric market is still far from European objectives. At the end of June, EU member states approved the Commission’s plan to de facto ban sales of combustion engines in favor of 100% electric vehicles from 2035, to reduce CO2 emissions from new cars to zero.

This should contribute to achieving the continent’s climate goals, in particular carbon neutrality by 2050.

The car, the main mode of transport for Europeans, represents just under 15% of the EU’s total CO2 emissions, the main gas responsible for global warming.


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