After a 7% decline in January and a 2,6% decline in February, European new car sales were down by 3,7% in March 2019, to 1,76 million sales. For the first quarter of the year, sales are down 4,4% to 4,07 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. March sales figures are traditionally heavily influenced by the UK market, for which this is the highest volume month of the year by far. Fortunately, despite all the uncertainties facing this market, its decline was not as bad as generally expected. However, all major European markets were in the red in March, as Italy posted the highest percentage drop (-9,6%), followed by Spain (-4,3%), the United Kingdom (-3,4%), France (-2,3%) and Germany (-0,5%). Just nine out of the 30 countries of the EU and EFTA showed growth in March, with the fastest growing markets Lithuania (+43,8%), Denmark (+33,2%), Norway (+27,6%), and Romania (+20,8%). In the first quarter registrations remained almost flat in Germany (+0,2%), while the other key markets performed worse than in the first quarter of 2018, most notably Spain (-6,9%) and Italy (-6,5%).
After eking out a 0.6% growth in 2018, the US market got off to a sluggish start in 2019, as cold weather and the federal government shutdown contributed to a 1.0% drop in sales compared to January’18. Interestingly, this makes it the eighth month in a row where a monthly increase in sales is immediately followed by a sales decrease, and vice [Read more…]
Segment bounces back from 2017 decline, Nissan NV200 and Chevrolet City Express lead the recovery
Sales in the US Small Commercial Van segment rose by 0.6% to 16,765 in the first quarter of 2018, a recovery from the 8.7% decline in 2017. With no new models coming to market anytime soon, the fortunes of this segment will depend, more than ever, on the ups and downs of the US economy.
Despite minor growth model fortunes diverge widely, with geriatric Chevrolet Express leading the way
Sales in the US Large Van segment rose by 0.8% to 87,226 in the first quarter of 2018, a slight improvement over the 1.4% sales decline in 2017. However, it should be noted that the segment is shrinking from a very high base – 2016 was the best year on record, with a little over 460,000 cars sold, and thus a little correction is probably [Read more…]
Segment continues shrinking, with only the evergreen Challenger and the new Porsches registering sales growth
Sales in the US Mid-sized Sports segment fell by 11.0% to 51,950 in the first quarter of 2018, continuing the trend that began with the 13.9% sales decline in 2017. With no updates coming for the American big three muscle (Ford Mustang, Chevrolet Camaro, Dodge Challenger) in 2018, the segment is unlikely to recover in 2018. [Read more…]
Chevy Corvette once again drags segment into the red, as sales of the Porsche 911 rise, while those of the McLaren 720S soarSales in the US Large Sports and Exotics segment fell by 8.8% to 10,275 in the first quarter of 2018, continuing on from the 7.0% sales decline in 2017. Once you exclude Chevrolet Corvette, which accounts for more than half the sales in the segment, the outlook is less bleak – sales of the remaining models rose by 6.4%. With outside [Read more…]
Sales in the US Premium Full-size SUV segment fell by 1.6% to 30,794 in the first quarter of 2018, a slight slow-down relative to the 2.5% growth the segment recorded in 2017. With the new Lincoln Navigator and Infiniti QX80 still ramping up sales, and the new Mercedes-Benz G-Class set to go on sale in the coming months the segment may [Read more…]
Sales in the US Small Sports segment collapsed by 40.2% to 8,724 in the first quarter of 2018, by far the largest decline from among all segments. What’s more, this follows the 36.9% sales decline the segment experienced in 2017 – could it be the advent of trendy crossovers is pulling all the money away from this segment? It will be interesting [Read more…]
Mercedes-Benz GLC flies to the top of what may soon be the largest Premium SUV segment
Sales in the US Premium Mid-sized SUV segment rose by 17.3% to 117,488 in the first quarter of 2018, a faster rate of growth than the 9.4% the segment recorded in 2017. In doing so the segment finished just a few thousand units short of the sales tally for the Premium Large SUV segment in quarterly sales, and may yet overtake it for the [Read more…]
Segment grows slowly as Lexus RX extends its lead at the front
Sales in the US Premium Large SUV segment rose by 6.8% to 120,305 in the first quarter of 2018, a faster rate of growth than the 1.6% in 2017, but only just quickly enough to keep the segment ahead of the Premium Mid-sized SUV segment in the quarterly sales rankings. Although new models such as Porsche Cayenne and BMW X5 should [Read more…]