Sales of new motor vehicles slump dramatically

03/09/2009 15:00

The number of new motor vehicles sold in the first six months of this year totalled 271 thousand, 28 percent down on the same period last year. The downturn continued in July, when passenger car, commercial vehicle and motorcycle sales were 21 percent down in July on July 2008.

New motor vehicle sales

New motor vehicle sales

Sales of commercial vehicles plummet

Sales of commercial vehicles in particular have dropped dramatically on account of the recession. In the first six months of this year, 40 thousand units were sold, i.e. a 36 percent decline relative to the same period in 2008. In July sales plummeted by 41 percent.

Van sales down by nearly 20 thousand

The steep drop in the number of commercial vehicles sold is largely attributable to the decline in van sales. In the first half of 2009, van sales dropped by nearly 20 thousand relative to the same period last year.

New van sales have declined since the third quarter of 2008 and were nearly reduced by half in May and June 2009 compared to one year previously. July’s sales were 42 percent down on the same month last year.

New vans sold in the Netherlands

New vans sold in the Netherlands

Passenger car sales down by one quarter

More than eight in ten motor vehicles sold are passenger cars. New car sales have also plummeted. In the period January–June this year, 221 thousand new cars were sold, a decline by more than 25 percent relative to the same period one year previously. In July 2009, sales dropped by 16 percent. Since the latter half of 2008, car sales have each quarter been down on the same quarter one year previously.

Motorcycle sales least affected

Motorcycle sales decreased by 9.9 thousand ((15 percent) in the first half of this year compared to the first half of 2008.
In March and April 2009, habitually the best months of the year to sell motorcycles, sales appeared to pick up. In these two months, the slump was more moderate than in January and February, but since May sales have nose-dived. In July, motorcycle sales dropped by 22 percent relative to July 2008.

New-motorcycle sales, 2009

New-motorcycle sales, 2009

Astrid Dohmen and Vinodh Lalta