Car sales in Europe increased 9% to 14,1 million units in 2015, which was better than expected, and means 1,2 million additional sales for a market still suffering from overcapacity. However, as both the US and China broke new sales records last year, Europe is still about 2 million sales off its peak of over 16 million sales in 2004 and 2005.
As I mentioned in the December 2015 European car sales analysis, the diesel scandal has had very limited effect on the sales of the Volkswagen Group, as it remains the #1 manufacturer by far and even adds the most volume of all at close to 200.000 additional sales, even though that means a slower than average relative growth of +6%. Renault-Nissan performs almost as good or even better, depending on how you look at it: its 11% growth is pretty impressive, but its 190.000 additional sales mean that the gap between the VW Group and the French-Japanese alliance is still growing. [Read more…]