After a 7% decline in January, European new car sales were down by 2,75% in February 2019, to 1,12 million sales. For the first two months of the year, sales are down 5% to 2,31 million units. Most of the decline can still be attributed to the after effects of the introduction of new fuel efficiency and emissions testing standard called WLTP (Worldwide harmonized Light vehicle Test Procedure) in September. Among the major markets, demand for new cars increased modestly in Germany (+2,7%), France (+2,1%) and the United Kingdom (+1,4%) last month. However, in Spain (-8,8%) and Italy (-2,4%) car registrations continued to decrease for the sixth consecutive month. Among the smaller European markets, Lithuania was the most dynamic with sales almost doubling (+94,5%), followed by Romania (+37,5%), Hungary (+12,6%), Greece (+10,6%) and Luxembourg (+10,4%). Fastest declining markets were Iceland (-30,9% to just 801 registrations), Cyprus (-17,7% to 891 registrations), Sweden (-14,9%) and Netherlands (-14,5%), with Finland (-11,3%) and Austria (-10,8%) also down by double digits.
Year-to-date, some markets saw a strong drop compared to last year, most notably Spain (-8,4%) and Italy (-4,9%), but new passenger car registrations remained more or less stable in Germany (+0,6%), France (+0,5%) and the United Kingdom (-0,6%).
As in four out of the last five months, crossovers and SUVs are the only category to improve their sales volume year-on-year, with a 7,5% increase leading to a 37,3% market share, slightly below the record share set in January. Sales of car models (hatchbacks, sedans, station wagons, coupes and convertibles) were down 7,1% to 55,3% market share while MPVs continued to slide, down 18,1% to 7,4% of the market.
Groups and brands
Big winner among manufacturers is Tesla Motors, both in absolute figures and in year-on-year growth as Tesla more than quadruples its volume on last year thanks to the start of deliveries of the Model 3. Daimler AG and Suzuki are also among the big gainers, although the latter added fewer than 1.000 sales on February 2018. SAIC is the only other manufacturer to more than double up, with Aston Martin growing by no less than 75%. Among losers, Renault-Nissan takes the biggest volume hit at almost 8.300 fewer sales, with FCA and Ford also losing more than 6.000 sales on last year. Relatively, Mahindra & Mahindra are the biggest losers with a drop of more than 20% due to its SsangYong brand, while Honda loses 14,5% and Subaru is down 8,4%.
Among brands, Tesla is once again the fastest grower, but Mahindra also more than quadruples its sales thanks to the KUV100, and DR Motor more than triples up. In absolute terms, Jeep adds the most volume at over 3.500 extra deliveries, followed by Tesla and Volkwagen, also both adding more than 3.000 sales. Nissan loses the most volume at almost -10.000 sales, with Fiat and Ford among the big losers as well, while Dodge is the fastest declining brand, losing more than half of its sales compared to last February. Porsche loses almost half of its sales at -45% and Alfa Romeo is down by almost 38%, both still hampered by the WLTP fuel economy standards introduced last September.
February winners and losers
|Tesla Motors||3.316||Manufacturer biggest
|Daimler AG||2.644||Fiat-Chrysler Automobiles||-6.539|
|Suzuki||965||Ford Motor Comp.||-6.238|
|Tesla Motors||353,1%||Manufacturer biggest
|Mahindra & Mahindra||-20,8%|
|Aston Martin||75,4%||Subaru Corp.||-8,4%|
|DR Motor||263,6%||Alfa Romeo||-37,9%|
Year-to-date, Geely Group is the big winner among manufacturers with over 3.500 additional sales, while Volkswagen Group is the big loser at more than 32.000 lost sales, with Renault-Nissan and FCA also down by more than 20.000 sales. Relatively, Tesla Motors more than triples up while no other manufacturer more than doubles up, with SAIC Motor next best at +81,8%.
Among brands, Lancia is a surprise winner at almost 4.000 extra sales of its last remaining model in its last remaining market. Perhaps the Ypsilon benefits from stopped production of the Fiat Punto and Alfa Romeo MiTo. Volvo and Tesla also add around 3.500 sales in the first two months of 2019. Fiat and Nissan each lose more than 20.000 sales and Audi, one of the big losers in 2018 continues 2019 in the same spirit, already down by over 16.000 sales, hampered by the WLTP standards. Relatively, Tesla, DR Motor and Mahindra each more than triples up in the first two months of the year.
2019 winners and losers
|Geely Group||3.522||Manufacturer biggest
|Tesla Motors||217,2%||Manufacturer biggest
|Mahindra & Mahindra||-16,0%|
|Aston Martin||58,8%||Fiat-Chrysler Automobiles||-12,8%|
For the second month in a row Peugeot is the #2 brand in Europe behind Volkswagen, while Renault jumps back above Ford to take the final step of the brands podium. Ford is the big loser in the top-7, down more than 8% while Mercedes-Benz is the big winner in the top-9 with a gain of 3,5% into fifth place, one step up from January. That leaves Opel/Vauxhall down into sixth place with sales down almost 8% as well. However, the big loser in the top-10 is once again Audi, losing 9,5% and only barely outselling BMW. Toyota is knocked out of the top-10 with sales down 6,5% but Fiat does even worse at -14,5%. Although its growth rate seems to plateau, Dacia remains firmly ahead of Hyundai and Kia in Europe, as well as Seat. Nissan loses more than a quarter of its volume in Europe compared to February 2018 and is now the #4 Asian brand. Just outside the top-20, Jeep is up almost 30%, Mitsubishi is up 26,5% and outsells Honda for the ninth consecutive month. Jaguar gains 42,9% and is back above Alfa Romeo, while Tesla outsells Porsche for the first time ever and DS is back above Lexus.
Year-to-date, Renault leapfrogs Ford for third place behind Volkswagen and Peugeot, while Toyota loses 2 places to Skoda and BMW. In the top-25, Nissan is the big loser ahead of Fiat and Audi, all three down by double digits. Further down, Jeep jumps to places to #21 while Land Rover loses 2 places and is down to #24 year-to-date. Tesla also jumps 2 places to #33. New brand Alpine already outsells Infiniti, which has just revealed it’s pulling out of Europe.
February brands ranking
European car sales statistics are from the following countries: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom. They exclude vehicles registered as commercial vehicles. Source: ANDC, JATO Dynamics