French passenger car demand grows modestly in February 2019
French passenger car demand has risen modestly during February, according to the latest data published by the French Automobile Manufacturers Committee (Comité des Constructeurs Français d'Automobiles: CCFA). Registrations have grown by 2.1% y/y to 172,438 units, with no working-day factors coming into play. This performance has helped to offset the dip recorded in January and after two months its year-to-date (YTD) growth stands at 0.5% y/y to 327,517 units. The CCFA has also released registration data for light commercial vehicles (LCVs) with a gross vehicle weight (GVW) of less than 5.1 tonnes. During February, registrations of such vehicles have increased by 6.3% y/y to 38,078 units.
Outlook and implications
After a positive performance for the passenger car market over the course of 2018 despite the upheaval caused by the introduction of WLTP in September, IHS Markit anticipates that this year will be weaker, which is started to be reflected in the early monthly totals being recorded. Over the course of the full year we currently forecast that registrations will stand at 2.125 million units, a decline of around 2.2% y/y. We are also expecting that the light commercial vehicle (LCV) category will retreat in later months despite a strong start, ending the year with vehicles with a GVW of up to 6 tonnes standing at 444,000 units, a decline of 3.4% y/y.
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