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The Current State of European Car sales

Back in December 2012, it was reported that car sales in Europe had sunk to their lowest point since 1995. Italian manufacturer Fiat SpA (F), Renault SA and PSA Peugeot Citroen had the biggest falls in sales. This is due to a third-quarter recession in the 17 countries using the euro.

11-month registrations across all 27 nations in the European Union fell to 11.3 million units, representing a drop of 7.6% – the lowest since 1993. This was compounded by a 10% fall in sales the previous month. 

The European Central Bank predicted that the economy would not see growth until 2014 and sure enough, registrations of 7.84 million new cars between January and August 2013 marked ‘a new low’ for the car industry in Europe. The figures had not actually been that bad since records began in 1990. Indeed, car sales posted for the first half in Europe of 2013 fell to 6.4 million units, a drop of 6.7%. 

Modest recovery

Thankfully it was reported in a BBC article from September 2013 that the ‘relentless six year slump’ that Europe’s car industry had experienced was now over.  The optimism was illustrated by Roelant de Waar, Ford Europe’s head of sales and marketing. He declared that ‘the worst is over’ and General Motors’ CEO Dan Akerson to concur that there may be ‘some sunshine on the horizon’.  The increase car sales new or old has probably influences and who have recently just committed to the biggest monthly marketing spend ever according to  

Despite the apparent resurgence, overall sales would still be below that of 2012 and a whole 20% below that of the peak in 2007, when sales across Europe hit a record 16 million. Yet, signs of recovery are clear, with a Reuters article from 2 January illustrating that strong rises in sales in the European car market for December. In fact, despite abysmal sales figures being recorded between January and August 2013, the encouraging December figures represented the fourth month in a row that sales had increased.

Car sales in the UK have represented something of an anomaly, with sales rising 10.4% between January and August 2013 and car registrations growing 10.9% during the same period. Automotive sales figures in the UK for 2013 finished at 2.26 million, which is only 6% lower than in 2007.   

New car sales in both France and Spain have risen for the fifth month in a row, showing signs the European car market is on the up. The news is positive for Europe’s automotive sector, which has been in decline for six years.

A continuing rise in fortunes

In a February 2014 article, the BBC reported that the upward curve in sales had continued in January with 5.5% rise in fortunes. Economists had predicted growth in 2014, and happily, it appears that they were right. Although figures represent a continuing rise rather than an initial rise.     


avatar Name: Michael Boardman
About: Online account manager and business analyst in the motor industry. Offer digital forecasting and advice on digital performance.
Posts by Michael Boardman (1)

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