New passenger car registrations in Bulgaria in January – August 2023 up 22.9% y/y

There were 24 406 new passenger car registrations in Bulgaria in January – August 2023, an increase of 22.9 per cent compared with the figure for January – August 2022, the European Automobile Manufacturers Association, ACEA, said on September 20.

In August 2023, there were 3421 new passenger car registrations in Bulgaria, an increase of 37.8 per cent compared with August 2022, ACEA said.

Of the new passenger car registrations in Bulgaria in January to August 2023, a total of 1162 were battery-electric, 204 plug-in hybrid, 451 hybrid-electric, one “other” (including fuel cell electric vehicles, natural gas vehicles, LPG, E85/ethanol, and other fuels), 17 015 petrol and 5573 diesel.

In August 2023, the EU car market expanded by 21 per cent, reaching 787 626 registered units, marking the 13th consecutive month of growth. In spite of August typically being a slower month for car sales, double-digit gains indicate that the EU market is rebounding from last year’s component shortages, ACEA said. There were double-digit percentage gains in most markets, including the three largest: Germany (+37.3 per cent), France (+24.3 per cent), and Italy (+11.9 per cent).

From January to August 2023, new EU car registrations grew substantially (+17.9 per cent), totalling 7.1 million units. Despite this year-to-date improvement, the market trails the pre-Covid-pandemic level of nine million units sold in 2019. Notably, most markets experienced double-digit percentage gains in this eight-month period, including the four largest: Spain (+20.5 per cent), Italy (+20.2 per cent), France (+16.6 per cent), and Germany (+16.5 per cent).

In August, the market share in the EU of battery-electric cars exceeded 20 per cent for the first time (up from 11.6 per cent in August last year), overtaking diesel for the second time this year and becoming the third-most-popular choice for new car buyers. Hybrid-electric cars held their position as buyers’ second choice, with a 24 per cent market share. While petrol cars are still the most popular choice, market share decreased from 38.7 per cent in August last year to 32.7 per cent.

In August 2023, EU battery-electric car registrations surged by 118.1 per cent, reaching 165 165 units, accounting for 21 per cent of the market. Except for Malta (-22.6 per cent), all EU markets saw double- and triple-digit percentage growth, with Germany, the largest market by volume, growing by a remarkable 170.7 per cent. Belgium recorded the highest growth rate of 224.5 per cent. Overall, battery-electric car sales increased by a significant 62.7 per cent, with nearly 1 million units registered from January to August.

In August, new EU hybrid-electric car registrations expanded by 29 per cent, primarily driven by robust growth in three of its four largest markets: Germany (+59 per cent), France (+38.7 per cent), and Spain (+21.5 per cent), while Italy recorded a slight decline (-2.3 per cent). This resulted in a cumulative 28.6 per cent increase, with nearly 1.8 million units sold between January and August, equivalent to a quarter of the market.

Last month, new EU plug-in hybrid car registrations grew by 5.5 per cent, totalling 58 557 units. Strong performance in major markets such as the Netherlands (+44.7 per cent), France (+40.5 per cent), and Sweden (+24.9 per cent) helped offset the decline in Germany (-41.1 per cent), the largest market for this power source. Despite this growth, the market share of plug-in hybrid cars decreased from 8.5 per cent to 7.4 per cent in August this year.

In August, the EU petrol car market slightly increased by 2.1 per cent, although its market share decreased from 38.7 per cent to 32.7 per cent compared to August last year. A solid performance in Italy (+25.3 per cent) and France (+21.5 per cent) primarily drove this growth, while most of the bloc’s markets declined.

Conversely, the EU’s diesel car market continued its decline in August (-six per cent), despite growth in Germany (+9.2 per cent) and Central and Eastern European markets, notably Slovakia (+22.6 per cent) and Romania (+19.4 per cent). Diesel cars now have a market share of 12.5 per cent, down from 16.1 per cent in August of the previous year.

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The Sofia Globe staff

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