The European car market grew by an impressive 11,4% in March to 1.643.607 units, pushing up the Year-To-Date increase to 8,2% at over 3,6 million cars sold. This is the largest monthly year-over-year gain in at least five years and possibly a decade, indicating the recovery of the European car market is picking up speed.
March sales are traditionally skewed towards brands that are popular in the United Kingdom, as this is the kingdom’s biggest selling month of the year thanks to the bi-annual license plate change-over. Brands that benefit more than others are Ford, Opel-Vauxhall, Nissan, Jaguar-Land Rover and Mini. For example, Nissan moves ahead of Toyota to become Europe’s best selling Asian brand, like it did in March 2014. However, Nissan now also outsells Toyota year-to-date thanks to its strong March sales, and this is the first time it does so in the 21st century.
Volkswagen Group and Renault-Nissan are still the biggest volume winners, with VW now also leading the way year-to-date. In March, PSA also joined the top-3 of fast-growing manufacturers, while General Motors is the only manufacturer to lose sales compared to March of last year. [Read more…]