Luxembourgh Times

People keep buying cars, but few getting on the road

New car registrations are down 30% in Luxembourg compared to 2019, buyers still spending

Congestion on the A3 motorway

Congestion on the A3 motorway © Photo credit: Guy Jallay

People in Luxembourg continued to buy new cars this year, but fewer were registered for the road as parts shortages continued to delay vehicle deliveries, the country's automobile industry lobby said.

The number of cars registered in the first half of the year was down almost 14% from last year and nearly a third compared to 2019, before the Covid-19 pandemic forced factory closures and snarled parts supply lines, Luxembourg's House of Automobile said on Thursday.

"Registrations remain strongly impacted by the recurring delivery difficulties on the automotive market in Luxembourg," the group said.

A critical shortage of materials in the car industry last year caused deliveries of new vehicles to be held up by several months.

What has returned to pre-pandemic levels is traffic, Transport Minister François Bausch said on Friday in response to a parliamentary question. Traffic is expected to continue increasing this year, Bausch said, as commuters return to their workplaces by the thousands.

The Grand Duchy has the highest number of cars per resident in the EU, accounting for the highest level of carbon emissions compared to the size of its population.

This year has seen 5,000 fewer private car registrations, the House of Automobile said, while company cars remained at same level as last year.

Petrol and diesel engines still represent 60% of car registrations in Luxembourg, compared to 63% last year.

The sale of all-electric cars increased to 15% of all registrations so far this year from 11% last year, the House of Automobile said. They represent two-thirds of company cars and a third of private cars sold, the group said.

The number of plug-in hybrid vehicles registered plunged this year for the first time since their debut in the country after the government abolished subsidies, the House of Automobile said.

A deal agreed at a meeting of EU environment ministers in Luxembourg last month requires new cars to emit 55% less carbon compared to 1990 benchmark levels by 2030.