According to figures released today by Statistics Netherlands, the Dutch car trade and repairs branch, the largest branch in the automotive sector, realised a net turnover of 29 billion euros in 2014. This is just over 3 percent down on 2013 and nearly 25 percent less than in 2007, the last peak before the crisis set in; sales of new cars collapsed as a result of the economic crisis. There was a slight recovery in the first two months of 2015: just over 80 thousand new cars were sold in this period, 5 percent more than in the first two months of 2014.
Fewer sales of cars and goods vehicles sales, more car parts sold
Within the car branch, businesses selling lorries remained farthest from their turnover level of 2007: they realised a turnover of 4.6 billion euros in 2014, 26 percent less than in 2007. Lower investment spending on new trucks and lorries in particular – an effect of the crisis – influenced sales. Compared with 2007, the number of new goods vehicles sold halved, from over 6 thousand in 2007 to scarcely 3 thousand in 2014.
The car-parts branch is the only segment in this sector to show a positive turnover development. In 2014 this branch realised nearly 10 percent more turnover than in 2007 and just over 1 percent more than in 2013. The branch benefited from the shift in focus to repairs and maintenance of cars.
More and more businesses
Although turnover levels have dropped from year to year, the number of businesses in automotive trade and repairs has increased by around 16 percent since 2007: from just over 15 thousand to 18 thousand. Almost all of this this increase was accounted for by one-man businesses. This group grew by 2.5 thousand businesses. In the middle segment (50-250 workers) the number fell by 350. The number of large businesses – more than 250 workers – remained more or less constant.