Last December, 3,232 new registrations were recorded by the Société nationale de circulation automobile (SNCA). While this is a more pleasing result than the 3,127 new registrations in December 2019, it will not have saved the year 2021.
For the whole of last year, the SNCA recorded 44,372 new registrations. This is 817 fewer than in 2020, and especially 10,639 fewer than in 2019 over the same period. In Luxembourg, the average price of a new car is around €30,000. The loss of revenue from new car sales can therefore be estimated at over €300m.
In fact, you have to go back to 2003 to find a year with less than 44,000 new registrations. "After a year 2020 marked by confinements and a 17.85% drop in new registrations, we had hoped to see some recovery in 2021. But instead, we have experienced a shortage of electric chips, causing a further crisis in the automotive market," lamented Philippe Mersch, president of Fedamo, at the presentation of the 58th edition of the Autofestival.
The Germans progress, Renault plunges
In terms of brands, Volkswagen remains at the top of the ranking of new registrations, with 5,168 units recorded by the SNCA. The German brand has even managed to increase by 1.15% compared to 2020. But compared to 2019, a year without Covid-19, it is a decline of 23.21%.
A trend shared by the other German brands. Mercedes, second in the ranking of new registrations with 4,489 units in 2021, shows an increase of 7.34% compared to 2020, but a decline of 15.66% compared to 2019. The same applies to BMW. With 4,372 units last year, it is an increase of 3.95% compared to 2020, but a decrease of 10.46% compared to 2019. Audi, which grew by 2.03% last year, is also down by 6.9% compared to 2019.
The situation is less uniform for the French brands. In 2021, Renault is showing a 30.64% drop in new registrations compared to 2020. This is the biggest drop, along with Dacia (-33.54%), among the main brands sold in Luxembourg. Compared to 2019, the brand with the diamond logo even shows a terrible drop of 51.7% in its new registrations.
In contrast, Peugeot and Citroën fare better, as the two French brands have increased by 19.25% and 4.47% in 2021 compared to 2020. Compared to 2019, Peugeot is down 17.6% and Citroën is down 24%.
The electric boom
In the space of two years, the number of electric cars has soared. In 2019, the SNCA recorded only 986 new registrations running solely on electricity. In 2021, the SNCA recorded 4,649. That is an increase of 371.5%.
The same applies to hybrid engines. New registrations of non-plug-in hybrids rose from 2,245 in 2019 to 7,224 in 2021. Over the same period, plug-in hybrids rose from 913 units to 4,443.
Conversely, in two years, the number of new registrations powered by petrol has fallen from 27,837 to 16,839 units.
Diesel vehicles have more than halved from 23,022 new registrations in 2019 to 11,194 units last year.
This story was first published in French on Paperjam. It has been translated and edited for Delano.