The European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association ACEA has published the provisional May 2014 European car sales data. Provisional because only the 32 major brands are published, and Malta sales (although minor) are not yet included. No detailed model data will be available until the first week of July.
May marks the 9th straight month of year-over-year gains for the European car market, although it’s still the second-worst May in at least a decade. Sales increased 4,5% to 1.093.448 units, setting the year-to-date total at 5.431.921, up 6,9% on the first five months of 2013.
In May, Volkswagen Group has taken the biggest chunk of the sales growth, thanks to increases at all of its core brands, but most notably Skoda (thanks to the new Octavia) and Seat (thanks to the new Leon). Skoda is knocking on the door of the brands top 10 while Seat outsold Kia and Dacia in May.
Renault-Nissan is strong again, but this month the star of the show is not Dacia but Renault itself, adding the most sales of all brands and the fastest growing brand in the top 10. Strong showings of the Clio and Captur are likely to have contributed to this success. Nissan is strong as well, slowly creeping closer to Toyota to become the number 1 Japanese brand in Europe.Percentage-wise, Jeep is by far the fastest growing brand in May, almost doubling in size, probably thanks to popular demand for the Grand Cherokee and dealer deliveries of the new generation Cherokee, in showrooms now.
Mitsubishi and Mazda continue their winning streak, both gaining more than 20% in May on continued success of their crossovers Outlander and CX-5, and for Mazda also the new generation Mazda3.
The upcoming exit of Chevrolet from the European market is dragging General Motors down, the Korean/American brand loses twice as many units as Opel/Vauxhall gains.
And Mini is still suffering from a slow model change-over, the new three-door “hardtop” is in showrooms, but a lack of customer deliveries leaves the brand down almost 18% for the month.
Year-to-date, the winners are the same as for the month of May, with Volkswagen Group adding over 100.000 sales compared to last year, with Renault-Nissan a close second and PSA Peugeot-Citroën a distant third with a plus of over 37.000 units. Honda and General Motors are the only brands to lose volume, and possibly Subaru, which isn’t included in the ACEA provisional data.
Brand-wise, Skoda has increased the most, followed by Dacia and Renault, while Jeep is the fastest growing brand, followed by Dacia again and Lexus, with a relative success of the new generation IS (although still selling at a fraction of BMW 3-series pace).
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