• European new car sales for May were down 5.8% year on year
  • Mercedes only brand in top 10 to increase sales for both month and YTD
  • Britain performs well with 11% increase in May, up 9.3% YTD

According to JATO Dynamics, European new car sales slipped back into decline during May. Following a small 2.0% increase in April (versus April 2012), May ended with a 5.8% reduction in new car sales/registrations. However, despite year to date (YTD) figures showing a year on year decline of 6.8%, the downward trend appears to be slowing, as YTD decline rates have become smaller each month since last March.

Within the ‘Big Five’ markets, Great Britain was the only market to record an improvement in year on year sales volumes for both the month and YTD figures whereas France, Germany, Italy and Spain all suffered decreased volumes for both month and YTD figures.

B segment models took four out of the top five places for European sales volumes while the VW Golf remains at the top of the leader board.

Mercedes is the only brand in the top 10 to record increased sales volumes for both the month and YTD versus 2012.

Although Finland posted the largest year on year increase for the month of May at 39.6%, this dramatic increase is largely due to a change in car tax in April 2012 that resulted in an artificially high sales volume in March 2012 and thereafter artificially lower sales in the subsequent months. YTD figures, which remain down by 19.5%, are more representative of the overall picture in Finland. 

In contrast to current market trends, Great Britain posted an 11.0% increase in year on year figures for May, remaining up by 9.3% YTD.

Of the top 10 manufacturers, Mercedes was the only brand to record an increase in either year on year monthly or YTD figures, with sales up 1.8% and 2.3% respectively. This is largely thanks to the successful launch of the new shape A-Class and the introduction of the new CLA-Class four-door coupé.

All other brands in the top 10, including market leader Volkswagen, reported a decline for both monthly and year to date volumes. 

Outside the top 10, Dacia, currently 17th, made significant progress over 2012, reporting an 18.2% increase in both monthly year on year and YTD volumes. Other brands that are making strong progress include: Mazda, up 30.9% for the month and 7.2% YTD; Seat, up 12.8% for the month and 9.4% YTD; Land Rover, up 10.8% for the month and 10.1% YTD; and Jaguar up 16.2% for the month and 15.6% YTD.

The Volkswagen Golf continued to be Europe’s best-selling car, despite a slight drop in sales (0.7% for the month and 2.1% YTD). New model Peugeot 208 and facelift Renault Clio continued to sell well, recording increased sales in May 2013, compared to May 2012. 

Of the top five, four were B segment models: Ford Fiesta; Peugeot 208; Opel/Vauxhall Corsa; Renault Clio. However, both the Ford Fiesta and Opel/Vauxhall Corsa experienced a drop in sales for the month compared to May 2012 and also remain down YTD.

Gareth Hession, research head at JATO, said: “Although the latest YTD figures continue to show an overall decline, it’s important to note that they suggest the decline is beginning to slow. Alongside a few of the premium names, brands like Dacia, Kia, Subaru and Seat are helping to reverse the trend of decline.” 

Sales by Market

Country

May_13

May_12

% change May

May YtD_13

May YtD_12

% change YtD

Austria

29,094

32,399

-10.2%

139,925

153,891

-9.1%

Belgium

44,519

40,780

+9.2%

246,715

237,469

+3.9%

Croatia

3,328

3,377

-1.5%

12,155

16,863

-27.9%

Cyprus

479

1,069

-55.2%

2,676

4,934

-45.8%

Czech Republic

14,822

15,975

-7.2%

66,336

76,072

-12.8%

Denmark

16,611

16,670

-0.4%

74,373

69,497

+7.0%

Estonia

2,003

1,942

+3.1%

8,646

8,365

+3.4%

Finland

10,228

7,326

+39.6%

47,640

59,149

-19.5%

France

148,490

165,691

-10.4%

740,121

840,084

-11.9%

Germany

261,316

289,977

-9.9%

1,219,717

1,337,679

-8.8%

Great Britain

180,111

162,288

+11.0%

948,666

868,166

+9.3%

Greece

5,238

5,271

-0.6%

24,694

26,797

-7.8%

Hungary

5,034

4,614

+9.1%

22,318

23,018

-3.0%

Iceland*

890

1,536

-42.1%

2,802

3,338

-16.1%

Ireland

5,963

7,697

-22.5%

51,544

60,297

-14.5%

Italy

136,711

148,203

-7.8%

611,075

689,246

-11.3%

Latvia

960

1,040

-7.7%

4,110

4,412

-6.8%

Lithuania

1,109

1,213

-8.6%

4,893

5,146

-4.9%

Luxembourg

4,614

4,833

-4.5%

22,089

23,717

-6.9%

Norway

12,280

12,897

-4.8%

60,485

58,982

+2.5%

Poland

22,550

23,929

-5.8%

122,285

125,356

-2.4%

Portugal*

11,016

10,674

+3.2%

43,208

42,602

+1.4%

Romania

4,107

7,745

-47.0%

20,582

26,017

-20.9%

Serbia

2,212

2,189

+1.1%

8,549

9,650

-11.4%

Slovakia

5,917

5,957

-0.7%

25,876

27,868

-7.1%

Slovenia

4,914

4,660

+5.5%

22,384

23,347

-4.1%

Spain

70,957

72,409

-2.0%

315,330

332,687

-5.2%

Sweden

25,782

25,759

+0.1%

106,031

117,071

-9.4%

Switzerland

26,678

29,165

-8.5%

124,952

137,219

-8.9%

The Netherlands

30,262

47,757

-36.6%

177,290

255,223

-30.5%

Grand Total

1,088,195

1,155,042

-5.8%

5,277,467

5,664,162

-6.8%

NOTE: * denotes estimated volumes for May 2013

Top 10 Brands

Make

May_13

May_12

% change May

May YtD_13

May YtD_12

% change YtD

VOLKSWAGEN

138,271

148,528

-6.9%

663,631

720,552

-7.9%

FORD

87,002

87,711

-0.8%

395,250

453,616

-12.9%

OPEL/VAUXHALL

75,800

83,652

-9.4%

353,280

379,511

-6.9%

PEUGEOT

65,553

74,205

-11.7%

320,544

363,459

-11.8%

AUDI

63,749

66,625

-4.3%

300,816

308,678

-2.5%

RENAULT

61,744

75,118

-17.8%

325,098

371,539

-12.5%

FIAT

57,434

60,543

-5.1%

264,307

269,742

-2.0%

BMW

55,303

59,113

-6.4%

268,322

272,645

-1.6%

MERCEDES

55,135

54,154

+1.8%

263,500

257,601

+2.3%

CITROEN

52,427

62,090

-15.6%

262,592

314,588

-16.5%

Top 10 Models

Make/Model

May_13

May_12

% change May

May YtD_13

May YtD_12

% change YtD

VOLKSWAGEN GOLF

40,695

40,964

-0.7%

196,097

200,312

-2.1%

FORD FIESTA

26,530

28,201

-5.9%

127,675

145,351

-12.2%

PEUGEOT 208

23,020

10,920

-

113,982

23,335

-

OPEL/VAUXHALL CORSA

22,518

26,566

-15.2%

105,800

120,213

-12.0%

RENAULT CLIO

22,093

20,874

+5.8%

123,565

107,719

+14.7%

VOLKSWAGEN POLO

22,075

23,972

-7.9%

116,415

135,440

-14.0%

FORD FOCUS

20,367

22,361

-8.9%

100,226

117,162

-14.5%

BMW SERIES 3

17,837

17,359

+2.8%

83,205

71,357

+16.6%

NISSAN QASHQAI

17,393

15,691

+10.8%

95,300

92,988

+2.5%

OPEL/VAUXHALL ASTRA

17,328

22,337

-22.4%

85,275

104,452

-18.4%

NOTE: Percentage changes for the Peugeot 208 are not representative due to the new model’s introduction in 2012 and have therefore been removed from the table

All data from JATO Dynamics