Last December, 3,121 new registrations were recorded by the National Society of Automotive Traffic (SNCA). The year ended on a positive note, with a cumulative 10,021 new registrations in the fourth quarter, i.e., growth of 7.05%.
But the last three months of the year did not manage to save the year. The SNCA recorded 42,094 new car registrations in 2022. This is 2,278 fewer vehicles than in 2021, and 3,095 fewer than in 2020. Year-on-year, the Luxembourg car market was down by 5.1%.
Never in the 21st century have so few new registrations been recorded in one year. One has to go back to 1999 to find a lower volume with 40,989 registrations, according to data published by the national statistics agency Statec.
The reasons are well known. The automotive industry is still experiencing supply problems linked to the shortage of semiconductors and a rise in the price of energy and materials, all of which is leading to a lengthening of delivery times, which can exceed 12 months for certain models depending on their configuration. Not to mention a sluggish economy and consumer purchasing power challenged by rising inflation and energy costs.
Cupra best performer
The clear leader was Volkswagen, with 4,964 new registrations in 2022. Mercedes moved into second place (taking the slot from BMW), with a total of 4,044 new vehicles sold. Audi ranked third, with 3,798 new registrations, followed by BMW in fourth place, with 3,750 new registrations. The ranking was published by Statec based on SNCA data.
Out of the German quartet, only Audi showed year-on-year growth (+4.28%). Looking at the performance of the car brands on the Luxembourg market, Cupra--a brand founded in 2018 by Spain’s Seat, which is part of the Volkswagen group--is the best performer, with 63.6% year-on-year growth. Dacia (+29.3%) and Toyota (+21.5%) completed the podium of the best performing brands. Peugeot, the fifth best-selling brand in 2022 with 3,330 new registrations, had a 19% year-on-year increase and its Peugeot 208 was the best-selling model in the country last year, ahead of the Fiat 500 and the Volkswagen Golf.
Petrol still dominates the market
In terms of engine type, petrol is still preferred by motorists despite increasing sales of electric vehicles. Last year, the SNCA recorded 14,559 new cars running exclusively on petrol (compared with 16,839 in 2021), i.e., 34.6% of new registrations in 2022.
Diesel engines continue to fall, accounting for 9,236 new registrations in 2022, or 21.9% of the market, compared with 11,194 units a year earlier.
100% electric vehicles went in the opposite direction to diesel and are making steady progress, accounting for 15.18% of new registrations, i.e., 6,391 vehicles, compared with 4,649 in 2021.
Finally, in hybrids, the market was dominated by the non-rechargeable petrol-electric motors with 5,337 new registrations last year, or 12.68% of the market.
Originally published in French by Paperjam and translated for Delano