Auto sales in Europe experienced a significant boost in June, marking the 11th consecutive month of growth. This surge can be attributed to the growing demand for electric vehicles (EVs) and an improvement in the supply of critical parts. However, this increased demand for EVs may result in higher taxes for Irish SUV drivers. The Tax Strategy Group, consisting of advisors and officials from various government departments, hinted at the implementation of higher taxes for heavier vehicles that rely on fossil fuels. This move aims to compensate for the potential loss of revenue as more motorists switch to electric cars.
According to the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association, new-car registrations in Europe increased by 19% to reach 1.27 million vehicles. Notably, sales of battery-electric vehicles saw a remarkable surge of 55%, while deliveries of diesel cars declined by 10%. The easing of long-standing shortages of critical components, such as semiconductors, has allowed carmakers to work through their order books.
However, despite the positive growth, there are concerns regarding potential supply-chain disruptions and consumer spending cutbacks. The rising demand for EVs could lead to renewed supply-chain logjams, while higher living costs and slowing global growth may prompt consumers to reduce their spending. Additionally, competition for investments in the EV sector is intensifying. The United Kingdom, which has witnessed a decline in its car industry, secured a significant victory with Tata Group’s announcement of plans to construct a £4 billion battery plant in Britain. This facility will supply EVs manufactured by Jaguar Land Rover Automotive.
In a noteworthy milestone, EV sales surpassed those of diesel-fueled cars for the first time in the European Union. The bloc registered 158,252 EVs, accounting for approximately 15% of the market share, while 139,595 diesel cars were purchased, representing roughly 13% of sales. Germany led the way in EV sales, with 52,988 fully electric cars registered in June, marking a 64% increase compared to the same month last year. France also contributed to the growth of the EV market with 33,280 sales, and the Netherlands added 13,892 battery-powered cars to the mix.
Meanwhile, Swedish truck maker Volvo reported a better-than-expected 57% increase in second-quarter adjusted operating profit, thanks to price hikes. However, orders for the quarter declined by 10%. Volvo CEO Martin Lundstedt attributed this decrease to the company’s cautious approach to taking on orders and buyer apprehension. Truck manufacturers have been carefully managing their order books in recent years to avoid excessive lead times amidst global shortages of key components.
Overall, the European auto industry experienced another month of growth, driven primarily by the increasing demand for electric vehicles. However, challenges such as potential supply-chain disruptions and consumer spending cutbacks loom on the horizon. As the transition to electric cars accelerates, governments and car manufacturers must navigate these obstacles to ensure a smooth and sustainable shift towards a greener future.