European new car registrations decline amidst rising EV prices and Chinese OEM surge

New passenger car registrations in Europe totalled 1,087,699 units in May, marking a 2.5% decline compared to the same month last year, according to JATO Dynamics.

Registrations however remained higher than in May 2022 and 2021, which saw 943,405 and 1,082,934 units respectively.

Felipe Munoz, global analyst at JATO Dynamics, commenting, said: “Since the global pandemic, the European car market has only recovered to 75%-80% of its original size. As a result, many factories across Europe are not operating at full capacity, giving Chinese OEMs a unique opportunity to sell across Europe while avoiding tariffs.”

The overall decline is partly attributed to a 10% drop in registrations of battery electric vehicles (BEVs) and plug-in hybrid vehicles (PHEVs). Registrations of these vehicles fell from 250,530 in May 2023 to 226,665 in May 2024. BEVs experienced the largest decline, with registrations falling 11% to 151,237 units, while PHEVs saw a 7% decrease.

Munoz added, “This negative result comes as a result of high BEV and PHEV prices, with these cars still unaffordable for the masses.”

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