EU auto sales stabilise thanks to subsidies

autos euNov09.JPGEU auto sales continued to improve in November versus 2008, with total volumes up 27%. But as the chart from ACEA (EU Automobile Manufacturers Assoc) shows, they were still lower than in 2007.

The difference between sales in W Europe, and in the new EU Central European states (EU CE), was quite dramatic. Sales in the former rose 31% in November, whilst they fell 17% in the latter.

Overall, total EU sales are now down 2.8% versus 2008. W European sales are only down 1%, thanks to the major stimulus programmes adopted in many countries. But EU CE sales are down 27%.

The key question, of course, is the 2010 outlook? Many fear that subsidies have only brought forward planned sales, and not created genuinely new demand. If they are right, and governments prove unwilling, or unable, to further subsidise sales, then chemicals volumes in this important market may well come under further pressure.

About Paul Hodges

Paul Hodges is Chairman of International eChem, trusted commercial advisers to the global chemical industry. He also serves as a Global Expert for the World Economic Forum. The aim of this blog is to share ideas about the influences that may shape the chemical industry and the global economy over the next 12 – 18 months. It looks behind today’s headlines, to understand what may happen next in critical areas such as oil prices, China and Emerging Markets, currencies, autos, housing, economic growth and the environment. Please do join me and share your thoughts. Between us, we will hopefully develop useful insights into the key factors that will drive the industry's future performance.

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