European sales of passenger cars in December were down for the third time in 2017, at -4,83% to nearly 1,13 million sales, even below the December 2015 figure. The major explanation for this decline is having one less working day compared to December 2016. Crossovers and SUVs bucked the trend and booked a 9,4% increase in sales to reach a record 32,9% share of the European car market, indicating this type of vehicle is on schedule to claim more than one third of the market in 2018. Sales of cars were down 10,4% to 57,5% of the market, a new low and the 6th consecutive month below 60% which had never happened before. MPV sales were down 11,8% in December to 9,6% of the market.
In 2017, the four-year streak of double digit growth of the Chinese domestic passenger car market ended as sales increased 2,6% to just over 24,2 million, down from +17,2% last year. This is the lowest growth rate in at least a decade and a halft, possibly longer (we don’t have exact data from before 2003). Still, it is a new annual record as sales have almost doubled since 2011 (12,3 million) and more than quadrupled since 2008 (5,6 million). [Read more…]
In November 2017, European sales of passenger cars continued on the same pace as in October, with a 6% growth rate to 1,25 million sales, partially helped by one additional selling day compared to November 2016. This marks the 9th month of increased sales this year 2017 and brings the year-to-date total up 3,7% to 14,36 sales after 11 months. That’s already above the 2015 full year figure and gives us an estimated 15,6 million sales for the full year 2017, the fourth consecutive year of growth and just half a million sales off the record years 2004 and 2005. Sales of regular cars (hatchbacks, station wagons, sedans, coupes and convertibles) are stable in [Read more…]
European sales of passenger cars returned to growth in October 2017 after a one-month decline in September. 1,2 Million new cars were registered in Europe, which leads to a 10-month figure of 13,1 million, an increase of 3,5% on the same period last year and more than the 2014 full year figure. That means 2017 is very likely going to be the fourth consecutive year of growth after hitting a low of 12,3 million sales in 2013. Sales of regular cars (hatchbacks, station wagons, sedans, coupes and convertibles) are up by 0,5% (YTD: -0,5%), while MPV sales are down by 5,5% (YTD: -11%) and sales of crossovers and SUVs are booming just like in the US and China: up 19,8% (YTD: +16,7%).
Among the five biggest markets Spain, France (both +13,7%) and Italy (+7,1%) outgrow the European market while Germany (+3,9%) trails and the United Kingdom continues to struggle with another double digit loss (-12,2%). Besides the UK, only Ireland (-13,8%) and Finland (-4,6%) lose volume in October, while Bulgaria (+41,3%), Lithuania (+33%) and Hungary (+30,4%) show impressive growth rates. Year-to-date, Italy (+8,9%) and Spain (+7,3%) are the fastest growing among the five largest markets, followed by France (+4,8%) and Germany (+2,3%). In contrast, UK sales are down by 4,6% so far in 2017.
After four months of growth, new car sales in Europe are down again, by 2,1% to 1,46 million sales in September 2017. This is only the second time this year that the European car market is in negative territory, and the year-to-date figure is now down to +3,3%, the lowest it has been so far this year. September is still the second best month so far this year, after March and just ahead of May. A total of 11,9 million cars have been sold in the first nine months of 2017, which is close to the 2013 full year figure of 12,3 million sales. Among the five biggest markets, Italy (+8,1%) and Spain (+4,6%) once again showed the strongest improvements, while France was stable at +1,1%, but Germany (-3,3%) and the United Kingdom (-9,3%) are pulling the market down. They are not the only one, as 11 out of the 30 countries of the EU and EFTA saw their sales decline, of which Denmark (-22,2%), Latvia (-20,8%) and Ireland (-17%) by double digits. Year-to-date, Italy (+9%), Spain (+6,7%), France (+3,9%) and Germany (+2,2%) continue to grow so far in 2017, but UK car demand fell by 3,9%
Surprisingly, tiny Suzuki Motors is the manufacturer that adds the most volume in September, ahead of juggernauts Renault-Nissan and Toyota Motor. All add between 2.500 and 4.000 sales, so small gains this month. On the other end of the spectrum we do see a few large declines, most notably those of Ford Motor Company and PSA-Opel, which each lose more than 12.500 sales compared to September 2016. Looking at relative growth, Tesla Motors is firing on all its kilowatts with a gain of 46%, ahead of Aston Martin and Suzuki, while Mahindra & Mahindra is the fastest declining manufacturer due to its ownership of SsangYong and loses more than a third of its Eurpoean volume. Honda and SAIC MG are also on the wrong end of the list with double digit declines.
European car sales are up by 6% in August 2017, the largest year-over-year increase in the last 3 months, and the fourth straight month of growth for the European market. August being the traditional holdiday month for Europeans, especially those in the South, it’s by far the slowest month of the year in terms of volume. Just 893.000 cars were registered in August 2017, more than a million fewer than last March. The year-to-date figure now stands at 10,54 million sales, up 4,1% on the first eight months of 2016. Among the five biggest markets, Italy (+15,8%) and Spain (+13%) showed the strongest improvements, as France (+9,4%) also outgrew the market, and Germany (+3,5%) improved at a lower pace, but the United Kingdom (-6,4%) is once again going in the opposite direction. Including the smaller markets, Lithuania (+34,4%) and neighbouring Latvia (+25,8%) showed the strongest growth, split by Iceland (+28,8%). Besides the UK, other markets in a negative trend are Ireland (-21,3%), Denmark (-12,1%), Cyprus (-10%), Belgium (-8,1%) and Romania (-3,3%).
Renault-Nissan is the biggest gaining manufacturer for the first time since last March, although the company has held on to its top spot in the year-to-date rankings ever since. In August, Renault-Nissan’s gain is more than 10.000 sales ahead of the next best performer, Volkswagen Group, while Daimler AG is not far behind the latter, leaving last month’s big winner Toyota Motor Company off the podium this month. In terms of relative growth, Aston Martin doubles up for the second consecutive month, while the two Chinese manufacturers SAIC and Geely also outperform. SAIC’s MG brand comes from a low base, selling just a few hundred cars a month in the UK only, while Geely benefits from its investments in the Swedish Volvo brand and the small British Lotus sportscar brand.
July marks the third consecutive month of growth for European car sales, and the sixth this year. A total of 1,19 million cars were registered in the 28 countries of the European Union and EFTA, an increase of 3,2% on last year. This brings the year-to-date tally to 9,56 million sales, up 4% on the first seven months of 2016. Among the five biggest markets, Italy (+15,8%) and Spain (+13%) showed the strongest improvements, as France (+9,4%) and Germany (+3,5%) also outgrew the market, but the United Kingdom (-6,4%) suffered another blow. Including the smaller markets, Greece (+19,7%) was once again the best performer, while Ireland (-7,2%), Switzerland (-4,6%) and Denmark (-3,3%) are the only other three markets to lose volume on last year.
Among manufacturers, Toyota Motor is the best performer in terms of absolute growth, although Renault-Nissan is only a handful of sales behind and Daimler AG remains pretty close as well. The first two add more than 10.000 sales to their July volume of last year, while the latter grows by close to 9.600 sales. On the other end of the scale, Ford Motor Company loses more than 7.000 sales as its best seller Fiesta is in a model change phase which temporarily hurts its deliveries. BMW Group loses almost 1.200 sales and Honda continues to lose volume for the 7th month this year. In relative terms, Aston Martin is the only manufacturer to more than double up, while Tesla Motors adds 63% and General Motors‘ US brands Cadillac and Chevrolet (sports cars and SUVs) grows by almost 50% from its low base. Mahindra & Mahindra is hurt by slowing sales of its South-Korean SUV brand SsangYong and is the fastest declining manufacturer, followed by Ford Motor Company and Honda.
Toyota is the big volume winner among brands in June, followed by Fiat and Peugeot, the former of which builds on continuous demand for its 500 minicar, but increasingly on the success of the Tipo compact car. Peugeot scores nicely with its new crossovers 3008 and 5008. In the short term, PSA might regret its acquisition of Opel/Vauxhall, as it’s the fastest declining brand in Europe at double the volume lost of the next loser, BMW. PSA’s luxury brand DS has become a mainstay in the losers aisle this year and shows no signs of improvement anytime soon, unless the upcoming crossover DS7 Crossback proves to be a big hit. The rest of the already aging line-up will have to make do for a few more years, as only one new model launch is planned per year. In terms of relative growth, both Chevrolet (mostly Camaros and Corvettes) and Cadillac (mostly Escalades) more than double up, while Lotus, now under the flag of Volvo owner Geely, also shows a nice growth. Besides DS, we also find Lamborghini and Infiniti among the relative losers. For the latter, the Q30/QX30 duo which has been designed to put the brand on the map in Europe, has now officially and solidly flopped.
European car sales returned to growth in May after a one-month hiatus because of a late Easter. In May 2017, just over 1,4 million cars were sold in the European Union and EFTA, an increase of 7,4% on last year. This brings the year-to-date tally to 6,85 million sales, up 4,7% on the first five months of 2016. Of the five largest countries, four outgrew the market while the UK recorded its third consecutive monthly decline at -8,5%. In contrast, Germany (+12,9%) and Spain (+11,2%) showed double digit growth and France (+8,9%) and Italy (+8,2%) also improved with impressive figures. Besides the UK, only Ireland (-7,9%) and Greece (down a horrid 20,9% in May but still in positive YTD) declined, while Croatia was the biggest gainer (+34,1%), followed by Hungary (+28,6%) and Romania (+27,1).
If Volkswagen Group was the big volume loser in April with a loss of more thsn 28.000 sales, in May the company rebounds with an increase of over 25.000 sales, almost as much as the #2 and #3 fastest growing manufacturers combined, Renault-Nissan and Daimler AG. On the other end of the scale, Honda, Tata Motors with its Jaguar and Land-Rover brands and Mazda lose the most volume, although Honda is the only manufacturer to lose more than 1.000 sales year-on-year. [Read more…]
The European car market declined by 7% in April 2017 as a collapsing UK market exacerbated a general slowdown across the continent which was caused by having fewer selling days than in 2016 due to a late Easter. Still, the almost 1,22 million cars sold in April is still slightly better than the same month in 2015. As mentioned, the biggest culprit of the decline is the British market, which declined by almost 20% on last year as the result of an increase in the Vehicle Excise Duty tax which came in effect on April 1st in the UK. Another part of the explanation for the plummeting sales is that Easter fell in April this year instead of in March, which means dealers had fewer selling days in 2017. Combined sales of March and April are still up by 2,9% on 2016. The UK market is expected to stabilize as the year proceeds, as the effect of the tax raise will wither away. The Year-to-date figure now stands at 5,44 million units, an increase of 4% on the first four months of 2016.
Of the big markets, only the Spanish market grew in April (+1,1%), as the UK posted a double-digit drop (-19,8%) and Germany (-8%), France (-6%) and Italy (-4,6%) also lost volume. This was balanced by positive contributions from the so-called EU-12 countries (+8.2%), the member states that have joined the EU since 2004. The fastest growing market was Croatia (+29,6%), while Ireland was the biggest loser at -24,5%. [Read more…]