Economy & Politics

Auto sales well connected to electric

While dealers have seen their order books fall, the share of electromobility is gaining ground.

While dealers have seen their order books fall, the share of electromobility is gaining ground.

(pj with Marco MENG) 47.929. This total car registrations recorded from January to October 2019 is a dream today. The current reality is 10,000 plaques below this figure … That is to say, in this area, the lowest activity ever seen in the Grand Duchy since 1996. “People remain reluctant to buy”, Frank can only observe Lentz from the Fedamo dealer association.

Lokales, Autofestival 2020, Land Rover, Foto: Chris Karaba / Luxemburger Wort

The Federation of Automobile Distributors and Mobility (Fedamo) announced on Tuesday that the next edition of the Automobile Festival will be held from Monday January 25 to February 8, 2021.

An encouraging sign for the Luxembourg automotive sector, the sales figures for July and September are higher than for 2019. Like an acceleration after the pause linked to the closure of car dealerships, but the 180 companies and more than 5,000 employees know that this will not be enough to make up for the shortfall in spring.

As such, figures from the European automobile association Acea show that not only individuals, but also companies, are dragging their feet in choosing a new vehicle. According to this group, truck registrations, for example, have fallen by a third since the start of the year. Through the voice of Guido Savi, the Febiac forecasts for this year a drop in car sales of around 15%.

The profession is organized around new sanitary rules, has even reinvented itself. As evidenced by Eric Bailleul, Managing Director of Mercedes Merbag, by evoking the new digital contacts made with potential customers. A revolution for the group, which has nearly 600 employees spread over five sites in Luxembourg.

It was also necessary to think about postponing certain appointments in workshops, for lack of visitors or vehicles to be revised but also because of possible preventive quarantine of personnel. But basically all sales and service activities are currently in “normal mode”, explains Mr. Bailleul. Since mid-May, the company has no longer any employee in partial unemployment. Unlike 3,809 companies nationwide.

Premium, tax and ecology

In the Losch group, of which Thierry Beffort took the wheel, we are once again working at “full capacity” on the workforce side. Less activity side. Teleworking has happened there. Also, the hassle with the mechanics has decreased all the more as the employees use their vehicle less on a daily basis.

But the other notable factor this year is the acceleration of the transition to electromobility. At Merbag, Eric Bailleul does not hide it: “40% of our car orders are electric or plug-in hybrid vehicles”. Same momentum noted by the Arnold Kontz group, whose hybrid models Jaguar or Land Rover are attracting more than ever. At Losch, the analysis can be summed up in one sentence: “We can see a significant increase”.

Overall, this sentiment is reflected in the sales figures. While the share of electric cars only represented 1.8% of new registrations last year, the rate rose to 4.6% in the first ten months of the year (and even to 12.6% for new registrations). hybrids).

Undoubtedly, the financial boost from the state (which doubled under the Neistart Letzebuerg program) also played a role. Now that the premium has doubled (reaching 8,000 euros, until March 31, 2021), individuals are more inclined to give up their habits, and switch from heat engine to electric. For the plug-in hybrid, the reimbursement goes up to € 2,500.

Lokales, Illustration, elekro-Auto, E-Auto, chargy, aufladbare Autos, Mobilität, e-Zapfsäulen Foto: Anouk Antony / Luxemburger Wort

The government is preparing for the transition to electromobility. Carole Dieschbourg, Minister of the Environment and Sustainable Development, and Claude Turmes, Minister of Energy presented this Friday a new financial assistance scheme for electric home charging stations.

And then, on January 1, the CO2 tax arrives. It intends to play against fuels made from fossil fuels. A few cents more on a full tank (gasoline or diesel) which could therefore further push the attractiveness of individuals but also of companies towards electromobility a little more. And we are not even talking about the change in road behavior of new converts to ecology.


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