In May, automobile sales in Europe recorded their highest monthly growth rate in more than a decade, at just over 15%, which also makes it the 33rd straight month of growth. A total of 1.315.772 sales is also very close to the figure of May 2008, just before the market started its decline from the financial crisis in Europe. The year-to-date figure of 6.532.869 is up 9,5% on the first five months of last year. Again, the Southern European countries are showing the fastest growth rates, at +27,3% in Italy, +22,3% in France and +20,9% in Spain. German car sales were also strong at +11,9%, while the growth in the UK stalled after a few years of robust gains. Analysts expect the Brexit vote to have a negative effect on car sales in the UK, which may result in slower growth of the European market in the second half of 2016. In May, only Switzerland and Ireland showed modest declines.
As a result, manufacturers that are strong in southern countries benefit the most, as Renault-Nissan adds almost as many units as Volkswagen Group, with PSA and Fiat-Chrysler Automobiles also adding some good volume. Only three manufacturers lose volume in May: Mitsubishi Motors, Tesla Motors and Fuji Heavy Industries, Subaru‘s parent company. Relatively, AvtoVAZ shows the fastest growth from a low base on its new models, which are available in just a handful of European countries so far. Mahindra & Mahindra are still boosted by the resurrection of the SsangYong brand, while Lotus continues to alternate between big gains and big losses from one month to the other. [Read more…]