After a promising start of the year with an almost 10% gain in January, European car sales disappoint in February with a gain of just 2,2% to just over 1,1 million units, still the highest February volume since pre-crisis 2008. The big difference in January vs. February growth can be attributed to the number of business days, which were higher in January 2017 and lower in February, compared to the previous year. A better indication of the strength of the European car market would therefore be the year-to-date gain, which stands at +5,9% to 2,3 million units. Among the major markets, France (-2,9%), Germany (-2,6%) and the UK (-0,3%) lost volume compared to 2016, while Italy (+6,2%) and Spain (+0,2%) improved. Altogether, 8 out of the 30 markets lost volume in February. Among the smaller markets, Romania (+62,9%) and Greece (+56,9%) stood out with excellent performances. [Read more…]
The European car market continues its steady growth in 2017 as almost 1,2 million passenger cars were sold in January, an increase of 9,6% on the previous year and a 16% increase on 2015. Some of this gain can be attributed to additional business days so we’ll have to wait until the February data is published to see how the market develops at the start of 2017. On a positive note, 21 out of the 30 countries show double digit gains, including 4 out of the 5 major markets: Spain (+10,7%), France (+10,6%), Germany (+10,5%) and Italy (+10,1%) while the UK market grew at a more modest rate of +2.9%. Only 3 countries showed declines: Switzerland (-3,7%), Ireland (-1,8%) and Slovakia (-1,2%). Big loser of 2016 The Netherlands rebounds to become the big winner with sales up 27,1%.
Passenger car sales in Europe rose for the third consecutive year in 2016, and its 6,2% increase put the total for the year just above 15 million units for the first time since pre-crisis 2007. Growth for the past 3 years has totaled 22,2%, or 2,73 million additional sales. That means the market has now officially (and finally) recovered, 8 years after the first big hit that shook up the industry. However, there’s still room to grow, because even though the US market appears to be at its peak, the European market (EU + EFTA) still has 7,7% to go before hitting its all-time record of 16,16 million sales it hit in 2004. But first, let’s get back to 2016 and see how individual countries have performed: The growth was largely sustained across the region but weighted towards the South, which had the most to catch up to begin with. Italy (+15,8%) and Spain (+10,9%) showed the biggest gains of the major markets, followed by France (+5,1%), Germany (+4,5%) and the UK (+2,3%). Among smaller markets, Iceland (+31,7%), Hungary (+25,1%) and tiny Cyprus (+22,2%) were the most dynamic, while only 2 out of the 30 markets lost volume: The Netherlands at -14,7% and Switzerland at -2%. [Read more…]
European car sales in December 2016 showed the 10th gain of the year at +2,6%. A total of 1.180.704 new passenger cars were registered last month, just a handful more than the month before. This also makes this the highest December volume on record, indicating the days of crisis are now well and truly behind us. Almost all major markets showed improving sales, with the Southern European leading the way once again: Italy (+13,1%), Spain (+9,3%), France (+5,8%) and Germany (+3.7%) outperformed the market, while the UK (‐1.1%) dropped slightly. Four other countries lost volume in December, and did so with double digits: tiny Cyprus lost 14,7%, even tinier Iceland lost 16,2%, but both were below 1.000 sales. More worryingly were the losses for Greece (-30,1%) and The Netherlands (-48,1%), but the latter was a result of a change in the taxation of company cars by January 1st, 2017. From now on, only EVs will receive a discount on the taxation, and Plug-in hybrids and other fuel efficient cars will no longer be elligible. This also resulted in a 30% share of plug-in cars in the Dutch December sales figures! [Read more…]
For years, analysts have predicted a slowdown of Chinese car sales. After becoming the world’s largest market in 2013, outpacing the United States, it was believed the market could not sustain its impressive growth record. Then halfway through 2015, the critics finally appeared to find reality on their side, when Chinese stock markets suddenly crashed and the economy stalled. Add to that a government crackdown on corruption and the recipe for a slowdown in car sales was ready. However, the central government stepped in and lowered the sales tax for vehicles with engines of 1,6 liters or smaller from 10% to 5%, starting from Q4 of 2015. That helped car sales peak recover and 2015 set yet another sales record of over 20 million passenger car sales. In 2016, the tax break continued and the market grew further, adding another 17% to 23,6 million sales.
Country of origin
|2016 Change||2016 Share||2015 Share|
60% of the growth came from domestic brands, as 9,8 million of the 23,6 million sales bore a badge from a Chinese brand, a record 41,4% of the total market. The previous record was 38,1% in 2015, which means local brands added 3,3 percentage points of share in a single year. Chinese brands increased their sales by 27,4%, more than double the growth rate of any of the other countries, as all saw their shares reduced. European brands took the biggest hit, losing 1,5 percentage points of market share to 5,3 million sales, with PSA Peugeot-Citroën as the biggest cause of concern. The American brands did best of the rest, losing just 0,4 percentage point of share to 2,96 million sales. Japanese brands sold 3,8 million cars in China in 2016 and South Korean brands sold 1,8 million units. All figures are for locally produced models only and exclude imports, which make up just 5% of the Chinese car market. [Read more…]
November 2016 car sales in Europe are back in the positive after a slight drop the month before. A total of 1.176.026 new passenger cars were registered last month, an increase of 4,7% on the same month last year. That brings the 11-month total to 13.833.784 sales, up 6,5% on the same period last year and less than 300.000 sales from the 2015 full-year score for the 30 countries that make up the EU + EFTA. In other words, 2016 is going to be the third consecutive year of growth for the European car market after hitting rock bottom with less than 12,3 millions sales in 2013. All major markets showed improving sales, with the Southern European leading the way once again: Spain (+13,5%), France (+8,5%) and Italy (+8,2%) were outperforming, while the UK (+2,9%) and Germany (+1,5%) grew slower than the rest of the market. As 12 of the smaller markets grew by double digits (let by Hungary at +42,8%), The Netherlands (-20%) and Bulgaria (-7,1%) were the only losers in November.
Car sales in Europe stabilize in October after a slow but steady rise in the past years. In fact, the 0,6% drop in sales is only the second negative result in 3 years, after last July. A total of 1.133.276 cars were sold this month, which brings the year-to-date figure down to + 6,7% at 12.662.372 sales. October showed mixed results between the markets, with the Southern European countries as the big winners again: Italy (+9,7%) and Spain (+4%), but also the United Kingdom at +1,4%, while Germany (-5,6%) and France (-4%) lose volume. The biggest relative loser is The Netherlands at -22,2%, which is also one of only two countries to be in the red year-to-date, together with Switzerland.
Car sales in Europe continue their slow but steady rise, as a 7% increase in September confirms the July dip was only a slight glitsh and no warning sign of a plateauing market as the US is facing. With 1.489.343 sales, this is the highest September volume for the European market on record and it brings the Year-to-Date figure up 7,5% to 11.529.096 sales. All major markets posted growth, with the Southern European markets at double digit growth again: Italy (+17,4%) and Spain (+13,9%), followed by Germany (+9,4%) and France (+2,5%). Even the UK showed another slight improvement at +1,6% despite the fears that the subsequent price increases after the devaluation of the British Pound and the uncertainty after the Brexit vote would hurt demand in that market. As usual in September (and March), the UK is easily the largest market in Europe as sales in this market are skewed towards these two months thanks to the twice-yearly license place change, this month to the “66” plates.
The UK accounted for almost a third (31,5%) of total sales in the 27 countries of the EU and EFTA in September, while the full-year share ends up at around 18,5 – 19%. That also influences the brands and models ranking, with those that are popular in the UK gaining an advantage over those that are relatively more dependent on mainland Europe. This most notably affects Ford, Opel/Vauxhall, Nissan, the British brands Mini and Jaguar–Land Rover and the German luxury brands to whom the UK is their biggest European market after Germany. Ford and Opel/Vauxhall both sell almost twice as many cars in September than they did in August, while for Mini that ratio is over 2,5 and both Jaguar and Land Rover sell more than 3 times as many units in September compared to August. Nissan moves from 16th place in August to 11th in September and adds more than a percentage point of market share.
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…]
After 33 months of non-stop growth, the European car market’s recovery has come to an end in July 2016, with sales down 2,6% for the month, at 1.147.258 units. After showing impressive growth in the first half of the year, even the Southern European countries see their recovery stall, with increases of just 3% in Italy and 4% in Spain. Surprisingly, UK sales are stable at +0,1% while the German car market contracts 4% and France is down even harder at -10%. Year-to-date, we’re still in positive figures at +7,3% to 9.174.057 sales, although we may finish the year in the red if this trend continues as expected, spurred by the Brexit vote.
If Volkswagen Group was the biggest gaining manufacturer as recently as two months ago in April, its fortunes have changed suddenly, as it is the biggest losing manufacturer in July, down almost 27.500 units of volume on the same month last year. That means VW Group accounts for 89% of the entire market’s lost volume this month. But wait, there’s another big loser in the continent, as PSA lost over 16.000 sales as well, while 13 other manufacturers lose less than 2.000 units and just 8 gain volume this month. The biggest volume gainer is Tata Motors at +4.190 units thanks to gains of both Jaguar and Land Rover, followed by Hyundai-Kia and FCA. Relatively, Tata Motors is the fastest growing manufacturer as well, with a gain of almost 33%, followed by SAIC MG and Suzuki, while Aston Martin, Tesla and Lotus all lose more than 37% on last year. [Read more…]