The European car market started the second half of 2016 on a negative note when a 34-month winning streak came to an abrupt end in July, but we’re back into positive territory in August. This is traditionally the weakest month of the year in volume terms because of the summer holidays, but sales increased 8,2% on the year before, to 842.696 vehicles. Among the major markets, the Southern European countries led the way again, with Italy (+20,1%) and Spain (+14,6%) showing double digit growth, compared to single digits for Germany (+8,3%), France (+6,7%) and the UK (+3,3%), the latter despite fears that Brexit may cause sales to fall in the second half of the year. The year-to-date figure is pulled up by the strong result in August, we’re now at +7,4% to just over 10 million sales, with only Switzerland and The Netherlands in the red.
Volkswagen Group took a big hit in July but recovers in August, adding the most volume of any manufacturer, followed by Renault-Nissan and Daimler AG, while Geely (Volvo) loses the most volume during the changeover from the successful V70 to the new S90/V90. Mitsubishi Motors, Fuji Heavy Industries (Subaru) and Aston Martin are the only other manufacturers to lose volume in August. [Read more…]