Car sales in Europe are down 1,8% in 2013, the fourth consecutive annual loss and down almost 16% on 2009 and down more than 21% on 2007. The bright spot is that December marked the largest monthly year-on-year increase of 2013 and that growth was shared among all major markets. Over the full year 2013, the UK recorded a double-digit growth of +10.8%, while Spain posted a more moderate upturn at +3.3%, while Germany at -4.2%, France at -5.7% and Italy at -7.1% saw their demand for new cars decline, each losing 100.000 sales or more.
Unfortunately, the sales increases in the UK and Spain are not due to sustainable factors, as the British banks paid billions of pounds in compensation to consumers for past insurance mis-selling, and because of the artificially low interest rates in the UK, most people used that compensation of 3.000 pounds on average as a deposit for a loan on a new car. In Spain, the government provided incentives to boost new-car sales.
If we look at manufacturers and brands, we see Dacia is the success story of 2013, with sales up almost 55.000 units, or +22,8%, helping the Renault Group offset small declines at the Renault and Nissan brands and helping Dacia leapfrog Seat to become Europe’s 15th best selling brand. Mazda also showed impressive growth, with sales up over 22.000 units, or +17,9%. Other notable increases are shown by Jaguar at +15,7%, Seat at +11%, Land Rover at +8% and Mercedes Benz at +5,2%.
The biggest absolute declines are by PSA, with Peugeot and Citroën losing almost 124.000 sales combined, at -6,7% and -10,5% respectively. Citroën was passed by both BMW and Mercedes-Benz in the models ranking. Looking at relative declines, Alfa Romeo at -28,4%, Lancia/Chrysler at -20,1% and Chevrolet at -17,5% suffer the biggest hits in market share. Chevrolet was surpassed by Mini in annual sales, falling to 18th place in the brands ranking, while Alfa Romeo sold even fewer cars than Smart. The double-digit losses of Alfa Romeo, Lancia/Chrysler and also Jeep caused the Fiat Group to be overtaken by Hyundai-Kia, despite the fact that the Koreans didn’t have an excellent year themselves. Sales at Kia remained flat, while Hyundai suffered its first annual sales decline since 2008.
For Opel/Vauxhall, it was the first time since 2010 and the second time since 2001 (!) the brand didn’t lose market share in Europe, finally a bright spot for the troubled brand, that will operate without its Korean-American sister brand Chevrolet from 2016.
Mitsubishi’s increase of 3.781 units is fully thanks to an excellent month of December, when sales doubled year-on-year to almost 11.000 cars. This is due to registrations of the Outlander PHEV in The Netherlands, because of a government incentive of electric cars and Plug-in hybrids, which is reduced for cars registered from January 1st 2014. As a result, Mitsubishi sold and registered 5.000 Outlanders in The Netherlands in December, making it not only the country’s best selling model that month, but even singlehandedly outselling every other brand.
Please note that Tesla sales are not broken down, as the company hasn’t officially published their European sales, but from separate country data I can conclude the number will be between 3.500 and 4.000 cars.
Detailed model sales for the full-year 2013 will be available on this site from the first week of February. I will also provide detailed historical data from 2000-2013 by brand and model within a few weeks. For a sneak preview, check European Car Sales Data.
* VW Group others include Bentley, Bugatti, Lamborghini and Porsche
* Fiat Group others include Dodge, Ferrari, Maserati
|Jaguar-Land Rover||+9,5%||Fiat Group||-7,3%|
Source: European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association