Passenger car sales in the EU grew in December for the fourth consecutive month, but the record growth rate of 21.7pc in December was largely due to registrations declining by 8.4pc during the same month in 2018.
Sweden saw car sales spike by 109.3pc, followed by France at 27.7pc, as both countries changed their bonus-malus component of CO2-based taxation for 2020. The Netherlands, where sales surged 109.3pc, increased taxation on electric company cars from 4pc to 8pc during the month, which in turn, spurred December sales.
New car registrations in calendar 2019 rose by 1.2pc—the sixth-consecutive year of growth across the EU to 15.3mn units. Although the year had a slow start, the last calendar quarter—and the month of December in particular—ensured positive full-year performance.
Registrations in Germany rose by 5pc, followed by France at 1.9pc and Italy at 0.3pc. Conversely, registrations in Spain and Britain, the EU’s fourth- and fifth-largest markets, declined by 4.8pc and 2.4pc, respectively.