Norwegian passenger car demand tumbles 18.5% y/y during November
The passenger car market in Norway has fallen during November, according to the latest data published by the country's Road Traffic Information Council (Opplysningsrådet for Veitrafikken: OFV). Registrations retreated by 18.5% year on year to 10,031 units last month. The leading brand was Volkswagen (VW), which registered 1,335 units, but fell by 24.8% y/y. In second place, Toyota increased by 11.6% y/y to 1,152 units, while in third BMW's registrations slipped by 13.2% y/y to 1,102 units. The heavy decline in November brings the year to date (YTD) down by 3.2% y/y to 131,127 units. Elsewhere in the market, registrations of light commercial vehicles (LCVs) of up to 3.5 tonnes fell by 19.1% y/y to 2,552 units in November, although in the YTD, they are still up by 2.1% y/y to 34,868 units. Registrations of medium and heavy commercial vehicles (MHCVs) dipped by 1.8% y/y to 553 units during the month, while volumes in the YTD are up by 5.7% y/y to 7,068 units.
Significance: The Norwegian passenger car market has swung back again during November, and this is a result of the battery electric vehicle (BEV) market again. Registrations of such vehicles have shrunk this month, retreating by 27.4% y/y to 3,697 units, with market share falling from 41.3% to 36.9%. Although Tesla has been a huge driver of the market recently with the newly introduced Model 3, registration growth has been more modest. This may be partly down to shipping schedules as well as meeting initial demand from elsewhere in Europe and around the world. It is affected by weaker registrations of the Renault Zoe, Nissan Leaf, and Jaguar i-Pace, after all three brands suffered large falls. The future changeover to the next-generation VW Golf and its BEV focus switching to the ID may also be having an impact on this brand's numbers this month. However, the new Audi e-tron has been a big seller, with 518 units sold. BEV demand looks set to continue to drive the market after the Norwegian government decided to main incentive levels until the end of this parliament. IHS Markit expects Norway's wider passenger car market to return to growth in 2019, and this is expected to continue into 2020. Sales of LCVs of up to 6 tonnes are also expected to grow in 2019, despite the impact of the category's recent transition from NEDC to WLTP in September, and we expect a further modest gain in 2020.
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