WLTP boosts August sales
The latest figures from analyst Jato show that the European car market saw spectacular growth in August, recording the highest result for this month in the last twenty years. But Jato goes on to say that this strong growth is somewhat artificial, as registrations were boosted by stock clearances ahead of the introduction of WLTP on the 1st September. This is evidenced by unusual results in typically slow selling segments, and booming business and fleet registrations. This last-minute push for registrations just a month before the introduction of WLTP, says Jato, demonstrates a lack of preparation from many car makers.
Business/fleet purchases posted a 38% increase in August (data for 15 countries), jumping from 53% of total registrations in August 2017 to 59% last month. This is in comparison to registration growth of 11% in July and 5% in June. Private registrations increased by 11% in August, accounting for 41% of the total. This change was more evident in Spain, Netherlands, France and Austria, where business/fleet registrations grew by 86%, 65%, 54% and 54% respectively. The highest market share for business/fleet registrations were seen in Czech Republic (76%), Slovenia (75%) and Finland (73%).
In addition, the segments that traditionally post timid growth, such as subcompacts and compacts, also recorded strong growth, up by 25% and 21% respectively. There was also an unusual 2% growth in the MPV segment, where volume has been on a near constant decline during the last years.
Felipe Munoz, JATO’s Global Analyst, comments: “As we anticipated last month, it’s clear that registrations were boosted in August by car makers rushing to register their vehicles before the introduction of WLTP. These results show how artificial registrations can be, and how easily they can be manipulated by external factors. The evidence of the WLTP effect shows how ill prepared car makers were, and it will be interesting to see how car makers continue to respond to WLTP in the coming months”.
(image: public domain)