New car sales in Europe continue to crawl out of the deep trough slowly but steadily. An increase of 3,4% makes January 2015 the 13th consecutive year-over-year increase, bringing car sales back just above 2012 levels, but still a long way from pre-crisis levels. The Seasonally Adjusted Annual Selling Rate comes in at 12,8 million units, which would make 2015 the best year since 2011, when 14,1 million cars were sold in the continent.
Volkswagen Group is still ultra-dominant, as one in four new cars sold in Europe carry a Volkswagen, Audi, Skoda or Seat logo, but Renault-Nissan is quickly gaining ground, at +14,3% thanks to strong gains at its three major brands.
For Fiat-Chrysler, Jeep is still the fast-rising star as the Renegade has been rolled out successfully. The American SUV-brand is now the group’s second best selling brand, outselling Lancia(-Chrysler) and Alfa Romeo for the first time ever in Europe. To put this in perspective: Lancia-Chrysler sold more than three times as many cars as Jeep in January of 2014, and Alfa Romeo more than twice. [Read more…]