September marks the 13th month in a row that the European car market increases year-over-year. At 1.267.068 units, the market has grown 6,1% when compared to September 2013, leading to a year-to-date tally of 9,85 million cars, which is up more than half a million on last year, or 5,6%. In September, the European car dealers sold over 500.000 cars more than they did in August, which is traditionally the slowest month of the year due to the summer holidays.
Also, September marks the twice-yearly license plate change in the UK, which means this month a backlog of registrations is released, and it’s traditionally second to March as the largest month of the year in Europe’s second market, after Germany. In fact, the UK was by far the largest market this month, as more one in every three cars sold in Europe was registered in the UK, compared to 18% or less than one in five over the course of a full year.
As a result, brands that are popular in the United Kingdom have sold exceptionally well in September. For example, the UK market accounted for more than half of all Ford cars sold in Europe, and GM’s UK Vauxhall brand outsold its twin Opel brand in all other European markets. Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz cars, which are usually heavily dependent on their German home market, sold more than one third of their European volume in Great Britain. For Jaguar and Land Rover and Bentley, the dependence on what used to be their home market becomes even more clear in September, with 80%, 72% and 74% of their sales respectively.
After breaking its record market share two months in a row, the Volkswagen Group has returned to a somewhat more modest share of 23,6% of the European car market. [Read more…]