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EU Car Sales Fall Modestly In July On Demand Surge For EVs, Best Month Thus Far In 2020

European new car registrations declined modestly in July amid a jump in demand for electric vehicles and rebound in some markets, signaling a recovery from the coronavirus-triggered slump, figures from the automotive market data provider JATO Dynamics showed on Thursday.

New car registrations decreased just 4 percent year-on-year, JATO reported based on data from 27 markets.

The sales total of 1,278,521 new passenger cars was the highest monthly volume thus far this year and also the highest since September last year.

ACEA had reported a 22.3 percent year-on-year decline in EU new car registrations in June.

EU car sales is set to fall by more than 3 million units, or a record 25 percent, to some 9.6 million units this year, due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, the ACEA had predicted in June.

In terms of volumes, the forecast for 2020 represented the lowest number of new cars sold since 2013, when the industry had come through six consecutive years of decline in the aftermath of the 2008-2009 financial crisis, the ACEA said.

"If the current situation continues to improve, we could start to talk about a 'V' shaped recovery in the European car industry," Felipe Munoz, global analyst at JATO Dynamics, said.

"However, there are still huge uncertainties regarding how and when the pandemic will finally come to an end, therefore caution remains."

Volume levels remained 35 percent lower from January at 6.37 million cars.
Big markets such as the United Kingdom, Denmark and France recorded "healthy demand" alongside other small and midsize markets.

Data from the SMMT had shown that UK car sales logged double-digit growth of 11.3 percent in July driven by pent-up demand as dealerships opened for the first time since February.

The increasing demand predominantly favors SUVs, with a wider offering, including more electrified versions, Munoz said.

JATO found that electric cars grabbed a record market share of 18 percent of European passenger cars volume in July versus 7.5 percent in the same month last year. Attractive offers also drove demand in July.

EV registrations jumped 131 percent year-on-year to 230,700, which was the first time that greener vehicles were bought by more than 200,00 consumers in a single month.

Both private and business consumers are responding to the better market conditions, JATO said.

Among different models, the Volkswagen Golf reclaimed its top position in model ranking.

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