Europes car market continued to recover in November

Europe's car market continued to recover in November

Car sales in Western Europe grew by 12.6% in November, bouncing back after a weak October, according to data released by LMC Automotive.  

The annualised selling rate (SAAR) climbed to 13.6m units a year in November, an impressive result. LMC forecasts that the market for the calendar year will hit 13.1m units, a gain of 8.2% on 2014.

Further solid, if slower (3.3%), growth is expected for the Western European car market in 2016 which would take it to 13.5m units.

November's car market was driven by strong results in national markets across the region and especially in Spain and Italy.

The Spanish car market recorded its best November result since 2009 last month, with sales exceeding 80,000 units. The year-to-date growth rate now stands at 21%. To continue supporting the recovery, the Spanish government has announced it is extending the current PIVE 8 scrappage scheme through to mid-2016, as the industry seeks to rejuvenate car parc.

November also saw a return to double-digit growth (+23.5%) for Italy's car registrations.

The German car market was up by 8.9% in November, to leave the year-to-date market up by 5.4%. Both corporate and private retail registrations reported strong growth last month.

New car registrations in the UK returned to growth in November after seeing a fall in the previous month. The UK market remains on track for a record result of just over 2.6m units for 2015.

The French economy is also showing signs of improvement, LMC noted, as low inflation boosts real disposable income. French car sales are on the rise, growing 6.1% year-to-date.

"November's result was pretty encouraging," said LMC analyst Jonathon Poskitt. "The underlying picture supports further moderate growth for the region's car market despite the sluggish European economy. With inflationary pressures so low, interest rates look set to stay down for some time and there is certainly more replacement demand out there."

Sales (Units) Selling rate (Units/Year)
Nov 2015 Nov 2014 Percent change Year-to-date 2015 Year-to-date 2014 Percent change Nov 2015 Year-to-date 2015 Year 2014 Percent change
WESTERN EUROPE 1,034,629 919,160 12.6% 12,117,982 11,181,469 8.4% 13,587,715 13,065,912 12,103,869 7.9%
AUSTRIA 23,644 21,619 9.4% 285,986 285,927 0.0% 304,392 305,902 303,318 0.9%
BELGIUM 36,329 29,739 22.2% 468,325 455,949 2.7% 524,767 495,970 482,939 2.7%
DENMARK 16,361 15,155 8.0% 188,104 173,591 8.4% 202,796 205,155 189,011 8.5%
FINLAND 8,992 7,220 24.5% 100,870 99,143 1.7% 141,513 107,944 106,234 1.6%
FRANCE 150,339 135,097 11.3% 1,732,819 1,632,561 6.1% 1,935,483 1,910,586 1,795,943 6.4%
GERMANY 272,377 250,100 8.9% 2,958,687 2,807,088 5.4% 3,258,467 3,218,813 3,036,788 6.0%
GREECE 4,922 4,983 -1.2% 68,051 64,831 5.0% 67,137 71,809 71,218 0.8%
IRELAND 950 771 23.2% 125,078 95,887 30.4% 115,405 119,754 96,237 24.4%
ITALY 134,021 108,546 23.5% 1,461,633 1,268,400 15.2% 1,683,803 1,569,491 1,359,918 15.4%
LUXEMBOURG 3,500 3,488 0.3% 43,796 46,157 -5.1% 52,744 46,939 49,793 -5.7%
NETHERLANDS 40,516 32,192 25.9% 381,489 351,342 8.6% 510,341 412,417 387,766 6.4%
NORWAY 12,600 11,486 9.7% 137,608 131,553 4.6% 155,964 150,897 144,202 4.6%
PORTUGAL 13,343 11,715 13.9% 165,272 130,947 26.2% 167,909 181,397 142,852 27.0%
SPAIN 81,650 65,134 25.4% 945,583 781,962 20.9% 1,107,843 1,030,585 855,402 20.5%
SWEDEN 31,352 25,916 21.0% 311,568 276,809 12.6% 352,881 344,281 303,871 13.3%
SWITZERLAND 24,858 23,672 5.0% 289,688 269,085 7.7% 311,404 316,297 301,942 4.8%
UK 178,876 172,327 3.8% 2,453,426 2,310,237 6.2% 2,694,865 2,577,675 2,476,435 4.1%