European car sales in 27 key markets continued to grow in February 2017 with new car registrations up 1.2% year on year to 1.1m units.
“This is the second highest February volume recorded since 2008 but there are signs that market growth has started to slow, analysts at Jato Dynamics said.
“Notably, this growth is dramatically lower than the 14% growth recorded in February 2016.”
Three of Europe’s largest five markets saw a drop in registrations, with France, Germany, and the UK all experiencing a decline. The largest decline was in France, where the significant increase in registrations of SUVs was not enough to offset the drops posted by MPVs and compact cars.
Germany’s registrations decreased by 2.6%, and registrations of diesel cars fell 10.5%. Diesel cars account for 43.4% of the German car market which is the lowest level since February 2010. The decline in German diesel registrations began midway through 2016 and can be expected to continue over the upcoming months.
Of Europe’s largest five markets, Italy and Spain were the only two to increase car registrations. Italy has begun to cool off after years of dramatic growth – with an increase of 6.2%. Spain’s spring break will take place in April, which will likely cause an uptick in rental car purchases over March. Poland’s performance is notable as it signals the 23rd month of growth for the country, with a boost in registrations coming from company purchases.
“Despite the recent declines in certain markets across Europe, the outlook for the industry is still positive,” said JATO global automotive analyst Felipe Munoz.
“This slowdown is expected – as we saw dramatic increases in registrations as markets recovered from the European recession.
“We now anticipate growth slowing down, and the market to stabilise over the coming months.
“PSA ‘s declining market share is notable in light of recent news of the manufacturer’s takeover of Opel/Vauxhall. PSA stands to benefit from the European reach of Opel/Vauxhall, particularly in the UK and German markets. But it will be interesting to see how the two companies’ ranges are integrated and what impact this consolidation has on the industry.”
Europe 27 February 2017 Volume By Countries
VW Group retained its leading position, despite losing market share. Notably, the group sold more SUVs than midsize cars with Seat posting a huge increase thanks to the performance of its Ateca SUV.
Top Selling Brands
Top Selling Models
Registrations By Segments