Note from the author: work commitments had taken me away from CSS for the past few months, and in the effort to make up for lost time I will try to quickly catch up on the monthly US summaries, before progressing to other articles. Apologies for the absence! Also, have to say: good to be back!
After seeing sales drop by 1.0% in January, the market suffered an even worse February, with sales down 2.9%.
After a 7% decline in January, European new car sales were down by 2,75% in February 2019, to 1,12 million sales. For the first two months of the year, sales are down 5% to 2,31 million units. Most of the decline can still be attributed to the after effects of the introduction of new fuel efficiency and emissions testing standard called WLTP (Worldwide harmonized Light vehicle Test Procedure) in September. Among the major markets, demand for new cars increased modestly in Germany (+2,7%), France (+2,1%) and the United Kingdom (+1,4%) last month. However, in Spain (-8,8%) and Italy (-2,4%) car registrations continued to decrease for the sixth consecutive month. Among the smaller European markets, Lithuania was the most dynamic with sales almost doubling (+94,5%), followed by Romania (+37,5%), Hungary (+12,6%), Greece (+10,6%) and Luxembourg (+10,4%). Fastest declining markets were Iceland (-30,9% to just 801 registrations), Cyprus (-17,7% to 891 registrations), Sweden (-14,9%) and Netherlands (-14,5%), with Finland (-11,3%) and Austria (-10,8%) also down by double digits.
Year-to-date, some markets saw a strong drop compared to last year, most notably Spain (-8,4%) and Italy (-4,9%), but new passenger car registrations remained more or less stable in Germany (+0,6%), France (+0,5%) and the United Kingdom (-0,6%).
The market for domestic passenger car sales in China continues its decline in 2019 with 8 consecutive months of declines from July 2018 to February 2019. With two months of double digit declines in January (-16,7%) and February (-17,6%), the market doesn’t seem able to recover soon. However, there’s a silver lining to this apparent malaise, as these numbers reflect wholesale data. Retail sales of new light vehicles dipped just 4% in January, which means the big drop in wholesale deliveries was a result of a reduction in dumping excess inventories by carmakers on their dealerships. [Read more…]
After looking at the February 2018 car brand sales in Europe, let’s zoom in on what’s hot and what’s not on a model level. Like in January, the Volkswagen Golf remains on top of the ranking and is also the fastest growing nameplate in the top-8 with a gain of 15,5% on a weak score a year ago when its facelifted version was not yet in showrooms. Still, this is the best [Read more…]
In February, European sales of passenger cars increased 4,4% to 1,15 million, which marks the fifth consecutive year of February sales growth, with sales up almost 40% on the nearly 829.000 sales of February 2013. Crossover and SUVs are the only segment to grow with an increase of 22,7% to a share of just over a third of the market while car models (hatchbacks, sedans, staton wagons, coupes and convertibles) lost 1,5% to 57,7% of the market and MPVs continued their sharp decline at -13,3% to 100.000 sales, 8,7% of the market.
After a rather unexpected double digit gain in January, sales of domestic passenger cars in China are down 8,4% in February. However, the explanation for these swings is that the Chinese New Year celebrations fell in February this year, while last year they fell mostly in January (Jan. 27 – Feb. 2), which means fewer business days in February 2018. Compared to 2016, when the celebrations were in the second month as well, 2018 sales are up 10%. Combined sales figures for the first two months are still up 3,2% which is actually still above expectations, as the Chinese car market was expected to slightly decline in the early stages of this year. The Seasonally Adjusted Annualized selling Rate in February is up to 25,28 million, up 400.000 on January. which is down by 1 million on January 2017 at 24,74 million. [Read more…]
After discussing European car sales for February 2017 by brand, let’s check out what the model ranking looks like in the second month of 2017. Traditional leader Volkswagen Golf continues its double digit decline after a stable January. Besides its facelift, which still has to pick up steam, the Golf is hurt by increased competition from the Opel/Vauxhall Astra and Renault Megane, but also by increased internal competition from the new Tiguan and Seat Ateca. The Renault Clio continues to improve and reclaims the 2nd spot it held in 2016, ahead of the VW Polo and Ford Fiesta, two models that are due to be replaced this year. For the first time since last September the Nissan Qashqai is the best selling crossover in Europe again, and for the first time since last August there’s only one crossover in the top-10. The Fiat Panda hits its highest ranking in 7 years with a 6th place, ahead of the Opel/Vauxhall Corsa and Peugeot 208. The Astra is down into 9th place despite still growing almost 10%, and it remains the #2 compact car ahead of the Skoda Octavia. The Volkswagen Tiguan is out of the top-10 for the first time since last July despite being the fastest growing model in the top-25. [Read more…]