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Insight of the Day: How are growing used-car markets in Europe affecting the wider industry?

Key Points:

  • Growth in Used Car Sales: The European used-car market experienced a positive trend in the first quarter of 2024, with all five major markets (Germany, Italy, Spain, UK, and France) recording an increase in sales.

  • Impact on BEV Market: The growth in used-car sales has mixed implications for the battery-electric vehicle (BEV) market. In France and Germany, where incentives for new BEVs have changed or ended, the used-car market may offer a more affordable entry point for buyers interested in electric vehicles. However, in the UK, where incentives are still in place for new BEVs, the used-car market may detract buyers from purchasing new electric cars.

  • Aging Car Parc: In Spain, the high proportion of used cars aged 15 years or older raises concerns about the country's aging car parc and the need for cleaner, less polluting models.

  • Outpacing New Car Market: In both Italy and Germany, used-car sales outpaced new-car deliveries, indicating a shift in consumer preferences towards pre-owned vehicles.

  • Factors Influencing the Trend: The rise in used-car sales can be attributed to several factors, including economic considerations, model availability, and changing consumer needs. Additionally, government incentives and policies regarding new BEVs play a significant role in shaping the used-car market dynamics.

Overall Impact:

The growing used-car market in Europe is a multifaceted phenomenon with both positive and negative implications for the wider industry. While it provides opportunities for some buyers to access more affordable vehicles, it also presents challenges in terms of reducing the average age of car parcs and promoting the adoption of newer, cleaner technologies like BEVs.

Future Outlook:

The future of the used-car market in Europe will likely depend on various factors, including economic conditions, government policies, and technological advancements. As the market continues to evolve, it will be crucial for industry stakeholders to adapt their strategies and offerings to meet the changing needs and preferences of consumers.

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