European new car sales post 2015’s second-highest monthly increase in November

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European new-car sales posted the 27th straight month of growth during November 2015 with volumes up by 13.5 percent, the second best this year. This followed a significant slowing in growth during October as a consequence of smaller increases coming from the Big 5 EU markets. Last month, as per data from JATO Dynamics, the total market expanded to 1.13 million cars from 993,000 units registered in the same month of 2014 taking the YTD result to 13.06 million units. The Seasonally Adjusted Annual Rate, SAAR, came in at 14.03 million units. Most of the markets analysed showed positive signs in November, with 27 of the 29 countries posting an increase in sales and 21 of them posting double-digit increases.

The growth was driven largely by Spain and Italy, where registrations increased by 26 percent and 24 percent, respectively, while in France the total was up by 11 percent to 150,000 units, offsetting smaller increases in Germany and the UK. However, these two markets performed better than the figures seen in October, as Germany increased by 9 percent, and the UK new-car market returned to growth with a 4 percent year-on-year increase. In terms of total volumes, Italy came first with almost 26,000 more units more than the total registered in November 2014, and was followed by Germany and Spain, while the UK was outperformed by markets like Belgium and the Netherlands. Registrations in the Big 5 EU markets totaled 820,000 units, up by 12% compared to the same period last year.

The Czech Republic, Poland, Finland, the Netherlands, Belgium and Sweden are among the big winners during November as their registrations increased by more than 20 percent year-on-year. Moving in the opposite direction were Luxembourg and Estonia, the only two markets to post a decline in sales last month. “After the slow down seen in October, the European new-car market is back to a healthy increase of 13 percent that benefited the majority of brands. Registrations continued to grow despite the lower than average growth posted by the Volkswagen Group, Europe’s largest car maker” said Brian Walters, vice-president of cata at JATO Dynamics. In November the Volkswagen brand led the market but posted the lowest increase in the top 10 with only a 3.3 percent gain over the same month of 2014. It was followed by a strong performance from Renault, Ford and Opel/Vauxhall, which sold between 75,000 and 80,000 units each. Double-digit growth was also seen by volume brands Peugeot, Fiat and Skoda, while the premium brands were led by Mercedes, with registrations up by 18 percent – quite ahead of the growth posted by its rivals.

Outside the top 10, other brands that showed a significant increase included Jaguar, Smart, Land Rover, Jeep and Mazda. TOP 10 MODELS The ranking by model shows that the Volkswagen Passat was again the fastest growing model in the top ten. It helped the brand to offset the decline of the Polo and the smaller increase posted by the Golf. The long-standing European leader had the smallest positive change among the models composing the top ten. The Renault Clio occupied third position outselling the Ford Fiesta by more than one thousand units, but it was the Opel/Vauxhall Corsa and the Peugeot 208, the subcompacts, that grew faster with sales gains of 18% and 23%, respectively. The top ten comprised of five subcompacts, three compacts, one mid-size sedan/SW and one SUV/crossover. Outside of the top ten, other models that outpaced total growth include the Opel/Vauxhall Astra with registrations up by 29%, the Skoda Fabia (+57%), the Peugeot 2008 (+30%), the Dacia Sandero (+22%) and the Hyundai i30 (+83%). The Renault Kadjar, Hyundai Tucson and Mercedes GLC were the best-selling new entries. “Overall November was a strong month with the usual leaders keeping their positions, while the new launches helped boost sales. The growing demand is heading us to a strong full-year result that is benefiting specific segments such as the SUV,” concluded Walters.