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China increases its lead over Europe in car sales

In Europe, significantly fewer cars were sold in the first two months of the year than in the previous year. Meanwhile, China is setting a new record.

In the first two months of this year, China was able to significantly increase its lead in car sales over Europe. This is confirmed by a study by the Duisburg-based Center Automotive Research (CAR ), according to a preliminary report available in the newspapers of the Funke Mediengruppe.

While 1.52 million cars were sold in Europe in January and February , the figure in China was 3.96 million vehicles, according to the study. A year ago, 1.99 million vehicles were sold in Europe and only 1.6 million in China during the same period.

“In China never before in the first two months of a year have such high car registration figures been achieved as in 2021,” writes the head of the study, Ferdinand Dudenhöffer. This is a clear sign that China has left the corona pandemic behind, while Europe is still very deeply in crisis.

In Germany alone, a quarter fewer vehicles were sold in January and February than in the same period last year, namely only around 364,000 instead of the 486,000 cars from the previous year.

Other Western European countries were therefore even more affected. In Portugal and Spain, new car sales fell by around 46 percent and in Denmark by 40 percent. According to the data, Ireland got off better among the EU countries - with a minus of eleven percent. According to the study, Norway was the only Western European country to record an increase in car sales of 20,988 vehicles - five percent more than in the same period of the previous year.

"Europe is still many years away from returning to the sales results before Corona," writes Dudenhöffer. This also has consequences for the production sites. According to CAR calculations, the balance between total sales and production in China in 2019 was 99 percent.

"Anyone who wants to sell cars in China has to build them in China," writes the CAR director in the preliminary report. "The clear weaknesses in the fight against pandemics in Europe will thus further weaken the automotive location in Germany and Europe in the future." By 2022 at the latest, China's car market will be twice as large as the European market, predicts Dudenhöffer.

Source: Handelsblatt
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