Europe: the market remains depressed, especially in the south of Europe, -3% to -5% for 2012
Europe continues its long decline. The market is still -15% in 2011 below its pre-crisis level, hit notably by the economic difficulties of countries in Southern Europe. With austerity plans in place in most European countries, the market should continue to slide over 2012, contracting by -3% to -5%, with continued deterioration in the British (-3%), Italian (-4%) and French (-10%) markets, provoking implosion in the European auto sector.
The French market, artificially sustained at a high level with the end of scrappage allowances and numerous manufacturer rebates in 2011, the year 2012 should prove difficult, with a contraction of 10%, taking volumes back to their long-term level, the result of the additional registrations generated by the scrappage allowances (around 500,000 units in 2009 and 2010) and the much-touted rebates in 2011, which generated and additional 200,000 registrations to the average level of sale.
By Yann Lacroix, Economic Studies Sector studies department Manager at Euler Hermes.