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%).
Crossover and SUVs were once again the only segment to grow (+28,7%) with their share up to a new record of 34,8% of the overall European market, while car models (hatchbacks, sedans, station wagons, coupes and convertibles) were down 2% to 56,5% of the market, a new low once more and MPVs continued their decline at -15,7%% to 8,7% of the market.
Among manufacturers, Volkswagen Group is clearly the big winner with more than 45.000 additional sales while none of the other manufacturers grow by more than 10.000 sales. BMW Group and Geely are in second and third place among gainers, followed closely by PSA and Hyundai-Kia. Most notable losers are Ford Motor Company, Daimler AG and FCA as the only major manufacturers to lose volume in June, joined by only three small manufacturers: Mahindra & Mahindra (down by 126 sales), General Motors (down by 15 sales) and Aston Martin (down by 5 sales). That makes M&M the biggest loser in relative terms at -7,5%, while SAIC with its MG brand is the only manufacturer to more than double up. Tesla Motors and Subaru Corp each grow by more than a third.
At brand level, Volkswagen is the clear winner with Dacia and BMW at a distance, and Volvo not far behind them. Fiat is the big loser again, followed by Nissan and Mercedes-Benz. In relative terms, small brands Dodge and Bugatti are the fastest growing, with the former up almost fourfold and the latter up from 1 sale in June 2017 to 3 sales now. Mahindra also more than doubles up as it has introduces the small crossover KUV100 in the few European markets in which it is present. Infiniti is once again the biggest declining brand and struggling to remain relevant.
Market leader Volkswagen is the biggest winner in the brands top-12 with a 16,5% gain with BMW as the only other double-digit gainer. Peugeot outsells Ford for the second time this year (after February when the American brand is traditionally weak), and Opel/Vauxhall is not that far behind either. BMW is the best selling luxury brand ahead of Mercedes-Benz and Audi, with Mercedes down a painful 6,5% while Audi grows by a similar percentage. Volvo is still at less than half of Audi‘s volume but grows an impressive 28,8% this month, helped by its strong home market Sweden where its sales almost doubled but since these are merely pulled forward sales instead of additional sales, the brand will surely struggle in the second half. Fiat is the only double-digit loser in the top-15 and barely outsells Skoda for 9th place. Unlike last month, the continued success of Jeep can’t make up for the losses of the Italian brand. Dacia continues to impress as the biggest winner in the top-17 and outselling Hyundai for the fourth time in six months, including the last three. Seat is also in a winning streak with double-digit increases in each of the past six months thanks to its new crossovers. Nissan on the other hand has lost sales in five of the last six months as the Juke is getting old and the Qashqai and X-Trail are no longer growing to make up for losses of the other models. Among smaller brands, Mitsubishi is on a roll with a 22,9% increase, Jaguar and DS each add more than a quarter to their volumes, both helped by their recently launched compact crossovers, E-Pace and DS7 Crossback respectively.
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