The European car market seemed to be on another year of growth after the first half of 2018, when sales were up 3%. After July, the year-to-date figure was up 3,5%, but then the introduction of the new WLTP fuel efficiency standards caused total chaos in the sales charts. August sales were up 26,3% as carmakers rushed to register unsold non-compliant model/engine combinations before the September 1 deadline. From that date onwards, only vehicle types that had been tested under the new standard for fuel consuption and emissions testing were allowed to be sold as new vehicles in Europe. As a lot of model/engine combinations had not been tested yet and would no longer be available in Europe until they were tested. Some brands and manufacturers were better prepared than others, but overall the market sunk by more than 7% in each of the last four months of the year and this adverse effect will continue to negatively influence the European car market in the first few months of 2019. December was actually the worst month of the year, both in terms of absolute figures (just over 1 million sales) and in comparison to the year before (except for the dramatic September month of course), with a decline of 8,6%. [Read more…]
After looking at the November 2018 brand sales ranking, let’s take a closer look at which models were moving up the charts. Traditional leader Volkswagen Golf is still on top, despite a double digit decline, but there’s a close battle for second place with the soon-to-be-replaced Renault Clio staying just ahead of the all-new Volkswagen Polo. In [Read more…]
European car sales have been on a wild ride in the second half of 2018, due to the introduction in September of a new fuel efficiency and emissions testing standard called WLTP (Worldwide harmonized Light vehicle Test Procedure), to which many manufacturers have found themselves unprepared. After September 1st , only vehicle types that had been tested under the new standard were allowed to be sold as new vehicles in Europe. That meant that every version of every model sold in the continent needed to be retested, but despite working round the clock, the testing agencies just didn’t have enough capacity to get this done in time. With some vehicle/engine combinations “illegal” after September 1st, automakers rushed to register these vehicles in August, leading to a 26,4% sales gain in what’s usually the slowest month of the year by far. However, as these unsold vehicles still needed to end up in consumers’ hands, sales in September suffered a backdrop of 23,1% as for the first time in modern history fewer cars were sold in September than in August. In the following months, sales continued to suffer from the continued backlog of pre-registered but unsold vehicles as well as reduced availability of certain model/engine combinations. Some manufacturers have been hit harder than others, with VW Group and Renault-Nissan among the hardest hit by the new testing procedures.
Sales of passenger cars in Europe increased by 7,5% in July 2018, the second largest increase of the year so far, also helped by an extra selling day compared with July 2017. A total of nearly 1,28 million vehicles were sold during this month. The major EU markets showed very diverse results, with Spain (+19,1%) and France (+18,5%) showing the biggest growth of the top 5 markets. Germany also showed healthy growth at +12% while car sales in Italy were up 4,4% and the UK was up 1,2%. Lithuania is the fastest growing market with an increase of 56,4%, followed by Croatia (+43,7%) Romania (+34,2%), Portugal (+26,1%), and Poland (+25,7%).
In the first half of 2018, European passenger car sales are up 3% to 8,6 million, with new EU member states contributing the most at +11,4%. Among major markets, Spain (+10,1%) is the biggest gainer, followed by France (+4,7%) and Germany (+2,9%) while sales in Italy (-1,4%) and the UK (‐6,3%) are falling. Crossover sales are up 22,9% in the first half, while car models lost 3,1% and MPVs lost 17,5%.
In June 2018, sales of passenger cars in Europe increased by 5,5% after an almost flat May. A total of just over 1,6 million vehicles were sold in this period. The major EU markets showed very diverse results, with positive scores for France (+9,2%), Spain (+8%) and Germany (+4,2%), but losses for United Kingdom (-3,5%) and Italy (-7,3%). Sweden is the fastest growing market with an increase of 72,9% as consumers have pulled forward their car purchases in anticipation of a tax change which has gone in effect July 1st. This change benefits green vehicles but makes gas guzzlers more expensive, with an overall increase expected. This makes the 66.244 vehicles sold the biggest month in history for the Swedish car market and makes Sweden the #6 market in Europe this month. Other fast growing markets in June were Romania (+52,4%), Hungary (+30,6%), Croatia (+24,3%) and Greece (+24%). In the negative were most notably the tiny markets of Cyprus (-25,4%) and Iceland (-17,4%), as well as Ireland (-10,6%).
After looking at the May 2018 brand sales ranking, let’s take a closer look at which models were moving up the charts. For the first time since June 2017, market leader Volkswagen Golf is down year-on-year but it still sells over 40.000 units this month. Its crossover sibling Tiguan more than offsets this loss with a 18,6% gain, moving into 4th place and best selling crossover. Its rival and the usual suspect for that title Nissan Qashqai is down into 3rd place of that subsegment behind the Renault Captur, respectively in 8th and 9th place overall. [Read more…]
In May 2018, sales of passenger cars in Europe were virtually flat at +0,8% after an almost 10% gain in April. A total of just over 1,4 million vehicles were sold in this period, bringing the year-to-date total to just over 7 million in five months, an increase of 2,4%. The major EU markets showed very diverse results, with Spain (+7,2%) and the United Kingdom (+3,4%) in the black, while Germany (‐5,8%) and Italy (‐2,8%) saw their demand for cars decline in May. Sales in France (+0,1%) were flat. Fastest growing markets were Romania (+43,3%), Bulgaria (+34,6%) and Lithania (+32,6%), the only three markets posting growth of more than 17,5%. In the negative was most notably Iceland (-25,7%), but also Norway (-8%), Czech Republic (-4,8%), Luxembourg (-3,1%) and Switzerland (-2,1%).
After looking at the April 2018 car brand sales in Europe, let’s look at individual model sales. The Volkswagen Golf remains unbeatable and is as usual followed by three subcompacts, with the Renault Clio as its closest rival for the fifth time in seven months, just ahead of the new Volkswagen Polo and the new Ford Fiesta, both of which outperform the Clio in terms of year-over-year growth. In fact, the Fiesta is the best performer in the top-10 with a growth rate of almost a third on its slowest April in decades, just as the new generation was arriving in showrooms. The Volkswagen Tiguan is the best selling crossover again as the Nissan Qashqai suffers from a fallback after its excellent performance in March. [Read more…]
European sales of passenger cars rebounded strongly in April 2018 after the first loss of the year in March. 1,34 million cars were sold in Europe this month, an increase of 9,7% on April 2017, when sales declined 7,2% on a 19,8% loss in the UK market due to an increase in the Vehicle Excise Duty that month. Accordingly, the UK is up by 10,4% this April, its first year-over-year improvement since March 2017 when sales were pulled forward in anticipation of the tax hike. Whereas the UK is traditionally the #1 European market in March, as it was this year as well, in April it is down to #4 in terms of volume, behind Germany (+8%), France (+9%) and Italy (+6,5%). Spain even outgrew the UK in April with a gain of 12,3%.