The Swiss passenger car market continued to struggle with the difficult market conditions at the beginning of the second half of the year. In July just under 22,300 new passenger cars were registered, which represented a further decline of 11.7% compared with the same month last year. This was the seventh consecutive month in which the passenger car market was down by a double-digit percentage. Registrations of light commercial vehicles up to 3.5 tonnes fell by 6.0%, once again coming closer to the previous year’s level.
Swiss passenger car market in July 2020
At the beginning of the second half of the year, the Swiss passenger car market continued to face the difficult market conditions caused by the Covid19 pandemic. Private market registrations in July were 13.1% below those from the previous year, while commercial registrations fell slightly less sharply and were down by 10.2%. Although developments at the overall market level (-11.7%) were equivalent to the seventh double-digit decline for the year, the percentage loss was at a level comparable to the one last seen in January and thus before the start of the coronavirus crisis.
Within the commercial sub-channels, company registrations in the True Fleet market fell by 8.9% year-on-year but were significantly more stable than in previous months. At cantonal level, there were both increases and decreases. Within the 10 cantons with the highest registration volume, the cantons of Geneva (+ 24.1%), Lucerne (+ 12.7%) and Berne (+ 6.2%), among others, recorded increases in July. In others however, like St. Gallen (- 23.2%), Zurich (- 17.0%) and Vaud (- 15.9%) company registrations declined.
Within the tactical channels, there were very different developments: While registrations for Dealers/Importers fell by 29.0%, registrations of car rental companies grew by a whopping 22.1%. The increase coincided directly with the main holiday season in many European countries. In addition, the Swiss also decided to spend their holidays in their own country this year. This may therefore have been a catch-up effect to meet the increased demand.
True Fleet Market: Renault, Peugeot und Porsche with strong performances
After the sometimes harsh losses from the previous months, some importers were able to score significantly better with the Swiss fleet managers. From the top 15 brands in July Renault (+ 41.1%), Peugeot (+ 39.2%) and Porsche (+ 37,4%) were the most successful ones.
With three models each, Skoda (+ 25.3%) and BMW (+ 25.1%) together accounted for six of the top ten fleet models in July. Skoda was represented here with the Swiss fleet model no. 1, the Octavia, as well as with the Kodiaq and Karoq. At BMW, the X1, 2 Series Gran Tourer and the 3 Series were particularly popular.
Market development of light commercial vehicles up to 3.5t
Registrations of light commercial vehicles up to 3.5 tonnes again moved closer to the previous year’s level. The private market was strong, growing by 21.5% compared with the same month last year. In contrast, commercial registrations fell by 12.1%.
Registrations within the True Fleet market also continued to stabilise. In July, they were still 7.4% down on the same period of the previous year. The tactical channels, on the other hand, were much more affected whereby Dealer/Importer registrations fell by 29.5% and car rental registrations by 55.6%.
As in the previous month, Ford (+ 61.2%) was the big winner among the top 10 importer brands for the True Fleet market. Their market share increased to 18.0% in July, further reducing the gap to the current market leader VW (18.6%). Despite the current difficult market environment, Ford succeeded in almost doubling deliveries of its Transit Custom model (+ 99.1%) compared with the same period of the previous year. Iveco was the only other brand that was also able to increase deliveries within the top 10 rankings (+ 8.1%).