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European new car market increases by 9% in September

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The European new car market increased by 9.7% in September year-on-year to 1.3 million units.

According to the latest figures from JATO Dynamics new car registrations in Europe have increased for 25 months in a row and year-to-date, figures are up by 9% to 10.8 million units.

The UK ranked first for volume as a result of the usual September plate-change registration peak. UK registrations totalled over 462,000 units, up by 8.6% over September 2014. However, its September growth rate was only fourth amongst the Big EU five markets, but ahead of Germany, Europe’s largest market.

Spain and Italy kept a good momentum with sales increase of 23.3% and 17.3%, respectively. In total the Big EU five markets volumes increased to 9.5% during September counting for 79% of total European sales. Germany’s slower progress, only 4.8% up for the month, offset part of the increases seen in the other major markets.

Looking at September volume increases versus last year, other markets that rank among the best performers were the Netherlands, Sweden, Poland, Czech Republic and Denmark.

Those showing smaller increases were Belgium and Austria, where registration increases underperformed versus total market.

Brian Walters, vice president of data at JATO Dynamics, said: “It is encouraging to see that the growth in European vehicle sales continues.

“All major markets and brands achieved strong results in September and this has continued the growth seen in recent months. The trend is well established.”

Volkswagen topped the list for European registration volumes by a large margin, but posted a smaller increase than the total market.

JATO says this is due, in large part, to the slower than market growth of the Golf and Polo registrations, Volkswagen’s high-volume model ranges.

Ford and Opel/Vauxhall performed marginally better, but neither they nor Renault and Peugeot (at fourth and fifth position, respectively) gained market share. Nissan (thanks to Qashqai performance), Fiat, BMW, Mercedes and Audi posted double-digit increases.

Fiat achieved a good result despite the 500-model’s fall in demand. Other important growth came from Jeep (+136.4%), Smart (+125.3%), Mazda (+28.4%) and Mini (+15.9%).

Although the VW Golf remains Europe’s best-selling car, it lost market share as its registrations achieved an increase of only 2% over the same month last year.

Second position was taken by Ford Fiesta with slight decline in September registrations and Opel/Vauxhall Corsa took third, with a jump of 10.3%.

Nissan Qashqai sales advanced by a massive 37.4% outselling the Renault Clio and the Peugeot 208. Beyond the top 10 rankings, the Fiat Panda (at 16th position) stands out, with September sales up by 40%.

B-segment SUVs continue to gain share with the Renault Captur and the Opel/Vauxhall Mokka increasing their sales by 27.6% and 26.5%, respectively.

Walters said: "With only a few exceptions, the best-selling cars continued to grow volumes during last month.

“This positive trend in the European region indicates a sustained buoyant and confident marketplace, although it remains to be seen whether this can continue in October.”

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