According to the latest forecasts from LMC Automotive, Europe’s light vehicle market is expected to partially recover in 2023 with around 16.1 million units, compared to 14.8 million units in 2022.

However, this recovery is only partial when compared to the pre-pandemic European light vehicle market of 20.7 million units in 2019.

Analyst Jonathon Poskitt suggests that the gradual easing of supply constraints will allow manufacturers to fulfil orders, resulting in improved inventory and decreased delivery waiting times, which will provide some support to the market in the coming months.

However, Poskitt warns that the demand picture in the region is not healthy due to recessionary economic forces and the ongoing war in Ukraine: “The European vehicle market has been severely constrained following the pandemic. While growth is resuming in 2023, it is coming off an exceptionally low base.

“The gradual switch in emphasis from supply shortages that constrain sales to concern over weakening prospects for demand will keep this year’s European light vehicle market at another low level by historical standards.”    

Although recovery is resuming in 2023, it is still coming from an exceptionally low base, and negative structural factors such as higher vehicle prices and lower mobility requirements due to the emergence of hybrid working patterns have dented medium- and long-term market prospects in Europe.

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