Economy, Auto

European Car Sales Grow 7.3%

European Car Sales Grow 7.3% European Car Sales Grow 7.3%

New-car sales in Europe grew by 7.3% last month with most major automakers, except PSA Group, gaining volume.

Volkswagen, hit by its diesel-emissions scandal, continued to lose market share.

Passenger-car registrations in the European Union and European Free Trade Association markets increased to 1.496 million in September, a seasonally strong month, from 1.395 million a year earlier, data from industry association ACEA showed.

The tally marked a new record for September, ACEA said in a statement on Friday, adding that the region’s top five markets of Germany, Britain, France, Italy and Spain kept growing, Auto News Europe reported.

Renault posted the largest gain among major carmakers with a 19% increase, helped by its new SUVs, the Kadjar and Captur, and new midsize models, the Espace minivan and Talisman sedan. The rollout of the Megane compact car and Scenic minivan will further boost the automaker in coming months.

Fiat Chrysler jumped 14%, helped by double-digit growth in Italy, Spain and Portugal. Sales of General Motors’ Opel/Vauxhall cars grew by 3.9%.

PSA dropped 5.8%, dragged down by big declines at its DS brand, whose sales fell by 15% and Citroen, whose volume dipped 10%. Peugeot sales fell 1.9%. PSA likely will bounce back with new launches such as the Peugeot 3008 and 5008 SUVs and Citroen C3 subcompact hatchback, analysts IHS Markit said.

Ford was the only other major carmaker in the red, with sales down 0.7%.

Kia grew most among Asian brands with a 12% gain. Toyota brand’s sales grew by 7.6% while Nissan’s volume dropped 3.2%.

Luxury nameplates BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Lexus posted double-digit or near double-digit growth while Jaguar Land Rover sales jumped 31%.

Nine-month European sales are up 7.7% to 11.6 million.

European car sales have been increasing since 2013, rebounding from a two-decade low in the aftermath of the financial crisis. Growth has cooled in recent months as concerns about the UK’s exit from the EU and Deutsche Bank’s future cloud the region’s economic outlook.

The UK exceeded Germany as the biggest European market in September due to a semiannual license plate change that prompts a demand surge. British registrations in the month rose 1.6% to 469,696 autos compared with Germany’s volume of 298,002, up 9.4%. Year-to-date sales in Germany are 2.56 million compared with 2.2 million in the UK.

The UK’s growth was the highest level ever for a September, according to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, but slowing gains in recent months indicate that uncertainty tied to the economic effects of Brexit is weighing on buyers.


Add new comment

Read our comment policy before posting your viewpoints