Figures issued by ACEA show that passenger car registrations in the EU were up 16% in May and 9.9% in May as the market continued to benefit from improving economic conditions across the region.
It was the 33rd consecutive month of growth and ACEA noted that the result for May was close to that of May 2008, just prior to the international financial crisis that sent the European economiy and car market into a deep reversal.
Among the major markets, Italy (+27.3%), France (+22.3%), Spain (+20.9%) and Germany (+11.9%) all recorded strong performances with double-digit percentage gains. The UK market also grew (+2.5%) last month, although at a more modest rate.
From January to May 2016, new passenger car registrations increased by 9.9%, totalling 6.4m units.
All major markets posted growth, contributing to the overall upturn of the EU market.
For the full year 2016, ACEA recently revised its forecast upwards to 5% growth.
Market leader VW Group continued to lose share in May (24% share versus 24.5% last year; the VW brand down to 11.1% against 12.4% last year). In the first five months of the year, VW Group share was down to 23.8% from 24.9% in the same period of last year.
The strong French and Italian markets benefited Renault and FCA in May, Renault Group up 28.7% to 137,102 units (Renault brand up 35.5% to 100,698 units) and FCA Group up 25.7% to 96,962 units.