•  November new-car registrations up 13.5% to 1.13m units 
  • Growth driven by Spain, Italy and several smaller markets
  • November YTD sales increase 8.8% vs 2014
  • All top 10 brands post double-digit growth except for Volkswagen and Audi

European new car sales experienced a 27th consecutive month of growth during November 2015 with volume up 13.5% year on year, the second largest rise this year, according to analysts at JATO Dynamics. This followed a significant slowing of growth during October as a consequence of smaller increases in the 'Big Five' EU markets.

November 2015 sales rose to 1.13m cars, from 993,000 in November 2014, taking the YTD tally to 13.06m units and the seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR) to 14.03m units.

Most EU markets showed positive signs in November with 27 of the 29 countries JATO analysed posting an increase in sales while 21 saw double digit increases. Growth was driven largely by Spain and Italy where registrations increased by 26% and 24%, respectively, while, in France, the total was up 11% to 150,000 units, offsetting smaller increases in Germany and the UK. However, these two countries performed better than in October as Germany increased by 9% and UK new-car sales returned to growth with a 4% year on year increase.

Countries

In terms of total volume, Italy came first, with almost 26,000 more units more than registered in November 2014. It was followed by Germany and Spain, while the UK was outperformed by markets like Belgium and the Netherlands. Registrations in the 'Big Five' EU markets totalled 820,000 units, up by 12% year on year.

The Czech Republic, Poland, Finland, the Netherlands, Belgium and Sweden were among the big winners during November as their registrations increased by over 20% 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% that benefited the majority of brands. Registrations continued to grow despite the lower than average growth posted by the Volkswagen group, Europe's largest carmaker," said Brian Walters, JATO's vice president of data.

Click image to enlarge

Brands

The VW brand led November EU sales but posted the lowest increase in the top 10 with a gain of only 3% year on year. VW was followed by a strong performance from Renault, Ford and General Motors' Opel/Vauxhall which each sold between 75,000 and 80,000 units. Double digit growth was also seen at volume brands Peugeot, Fiat and Skoda while the premium brands were led by Mercedes-Benz with registrations up by 18% - well ahead of growth posted by rivals. Outside the top 10, other brands that showed a significant increase included Tata Motors' Jaguar and Land Rover, Daimler's Smart, Fiat Chrysler's Jeep, and Mazda.

Click image to enlarge

Models

The model ranking showed the VW Passat was again the fastest growing model in the top 10. This helped the brand to offset the decline of the Polo and the smaller increase posted by the Golf. That long standing European market leader achieved the smallest positive growth among all models in the top 10. The Renault Clio was third, outselling the Ford Fiesta by more than 1,000 units, but the Opel/Vauxhall Corsa and the Peugeot 208 were the subcompacts that last month grew sales faster with gains of 18% and 23%, respectively. The top 10 consisted of five subcompacts, three compacts, one mid-size sedan/SW and an SUV/crossover. Outside of the top 10, other models that outpaced total growth included 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. 

Click image to enlarge

"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," said Walters.