Car sales fall for the first time in fourteen months and they also do so in electric cars

Passenger car registrations interrupted in March a sequence of fourteen consecutive months of increases, which had begun in December 2022 and which pointed to a progressive recovery of the market, with increases that reached 66% in some months.

Oliver Thansan
Oliver Thansan
31 March 2024 Sunday 16:26
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Car sales fall for the first time in fourteen months and they also do so in electric cars

Passenger car registrations interrupted in March a sequence of fourteen consecutive months of increases, which had begun in December 2022 and which pointed to a progressive recovery of the market, with increases that reached 66% in some months.

The trend seems to have cooled, at least temporarily, due to the effect of Easter and also other more underlying factors. Sales of new cars registered a decline of 4.7% in March, to 94,840 units, to which is added an unusual drop in sales of electric vehicles, which are those that the Government and the manufacturers themselves strive to promote.

According to the associations Anfac, Ganvam and Faconauto, which are the ones that disseminate this data, the decrease in March responds above all to the seasonal effect of Holy Week, which this year was celebrated somewhat earlier. There have been two more working days, in addition to which the car rental companies had brought forward the supply of vehicles to February for the holidays.

With the March data, the first quarter closes with a slight increase in registrations, of 3.1%, up to 244,879 units. Individuals have increased their purchases by 2.9% until March, while renters have increased their purchases by 49% and rental companies by 7%.

However, the purchase of cars for company fleets, which together with individuals form the main sales channel - if the former purchased 103,493 units in the first quarter, the latter bought 84,231 - are the ones with the worst evolution. . They fell 27% in March and 14% in the first quarter.

So far this year, the brand with the highest sales is Toyota, with 23,043 units, followed by Seat, which has 16,022, and Kia, with 15,949. By model, the offensive of Chinese cars has lost strength in the first quarter, in which the Dacia Sandero once again reaches the lead, with 7,161 units, ahead of the 6,187 of the Toyota Corolla and the 6,175 of the Nissan Qashqai.

Of all these figures, the ones that cause the greatest concern to the sector are the sales of electrified cars - pure electric and plug-in hybrids - which fell in March and which in the first quarter of the year, despite increasing, did not increase their share. of market on the whole. If a year ago they were equivalent to 11% of registrations and reached 12% at the end of 2023, the percentage is now stuck at the first of these percentages.

Registrations of pure electric vehicles fell by 2.8% in March, while those of plug-in hybrids fell by 6.6%. The former now register an increase of 7% in the quarter, compared to 5.5% for the latter.

The slowdown in the sale of electric vehicles occurs a few months before the funds from the Moves plan expire in June, which the Government will foreseeably renew or replace with another purchase aid formula. The Anfac manufacturers association demands a system of immediate collection of aid and more fiscal support.

Tesla, with 1,488 vehicles and two models, the Model 3 and the Model Y, at the top of the classification, is the brand that leads the sales of electric cars, ahead of the Chinese MG, which sold 362 units, and BMW , with 321 units.

When assessing the evolution of sales in the first quarter, the Anfac manufacturers association expresses its "concern" about the drop in purchases of company cars, which are "an indicator of how the economy is doing", as well as the slowdown in the electrified passenger car market. "We are still very far from achieving the decarbonization objectives both in sales of this type of vehicles and in charging facilities," he says.

The association of sellers and repairers Ganvam considers that "it is necessary to recover sales volumes, which are still around 20% below pre-pandemic levels, to stop the aging of the fleet in its tracks and accelerate decarbonization."

"With this situation, with a practically stagnant market and with a slowdown in the sale of electrified vehicles, a reaction is necessary in the form of significant measures that the sector has been demanding from the Government so that our country does not fall further behind in electrification," says the Faconauto sales association.