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July 7, 2015

UK: West European car sales up 14.2% in June

Car sales in Western Europe grew by an impressive 14.2%, year-on-year in June, according to data released by LMC Automotive. The positive result comes amid an emerging political and economic crisis in Greece that threatens Europe's economic outlook.

Car sales in Western Europe grew by an impressive 14.2%, year-on-year in June, according to data released by LMC Automotive. The positive result comes amid an emerging political and economic crisis in Greece that threatens Europe’s economic outlook.  

LMC said that after a weaker May, the West European car market picked up again in June, with its selling rate climbing above 13.2m units a year.

However, the forecasters at LMC sounded a note of caution that despite the positive result, recent developments threaten growth. While a collapse in the Greek car market itself would not have a significant impact at the West European total car market level, LMC said a greater issue is the potential contagion coming from a Greek euro exit, which could impact the banking sector, bond yields and consumer confidence generally. LMC warned that scenario could well see the eurozone plunge back into recession, with car market growth in the region unwinding in 2016.

“The likelihood of Greece leaving the euro has risen sharply in the last week or so, and this could potentially knock market recovery off course later this year,” said LMC analyst Jonathon Poskitt. “We continue to closely monitor the situation.” However, he maintains that at this stage he does not envisage a return to economic recession in the region as a core assumption. “We have to see how the situation plays out this week,” he said. “Various scenarios are possible at this stage. The wider significance of current events in Greece, their implications for the euro currency, financial markets and indeed the European economy, remain rather unclear right now.”

The German car market was up by 12.9% in June with the year-to-date market up by 5.2%. The UK car market continued to pick up well, the first half of the year up 7% over H1 2014. The Spanish car market registered another strong month in June, growing by 23.5% year-on-year. In Italy, the car market saw double-digit growth for the sixth consecutive month, year-to-date 15% up on 2014. After falling in May, car registrations grew in France by 15% year-on-year, aided by more selling days this June versus last year.

  Sales (units) Selling rate (units/year)
  Jun 2015 Jun 2014 Percent change Year-to-date 2015 Year-to-date 2014 Percent change Jun 2015 Year-to-date 2015 Year 2014 Percent change
WESTERN EUROPE 1,313,045 1,150,107 14.2% 6,901,761 6,388,717 8.0% 13,209,202 12,863,844 12,102,144 6.3%
AUSTRIA 30,528 29,100 4.9% 161,699 166,607 -2.9% 293,299 299,175 303,318 -1.4%
BELGIUM 49,426 43,018 14.9% 288,424 287,824 0.2% 510,592 488,330 482,939 1.1%
DENMARK 20,128 17,572 14.5% 103,408 98,783 4.7% 198,213 203,437 189,031 7.6%
FINLAND 8,976 9,209 -2.5% 57,076 59,142 -3.5% 100,632 99,368 106,231 -6.5%
FRANCE 225,645 196,233 15.0% 1,015,998 958,752 6.0% 2,058,115 1,908,328 1,795,720 6.3%
GERMANY 313,539 277,614 12.9% 1,618,949 1,538,268 5.2% 3,280,833 3,194,807 3,036,791 5.2%
GREECE 6,107 7,964 -23.3% 40,249 37,469 7.4% 61,807 73,510 71,217 3.2%
IRELAND 1,449 1,684 -14.0% 82,708 65,631 26.0% 81,195 109,173 96,283 13.4%
ITALY 146,682 128,272 14.4% 869,929 758,034 14.8% 1,569,141 1,567,295 1,357,742 15.4%
LUXEMBOURG 4,363 4,416 -1.2% 25,496 27,145 -6.1% 49,289 44,041 49,793 -11.6%
NETHER LANDS 36,999 32,699 13.2% 201,522 198,953 1.3% 331,464 358,092 388,539 -7.8%
NORWAY 14,207 11,441 24.2% 74,392 72,385 2.8% 167,859 149, 668 144,202 3.8%
PORTUGAL 21,067 15,751 33.8% 100,625 75,807 32.7% 186,423 186,919 142,812 30.9%
SPAIN 111,333 90,175 23.5% 555,212 455,000 22.0% 1,041,686 996,897 855,283 16.6%
SWEDEN 32,257 28,749 12.2% 167,984 151,747 10.7% 349,050 334,383 303,866 10.0%
SWITZERLAND 32,523 27,919 16.5% 161,202 149,905 7.5% 303,560 308,093 301,942 2.0%
UK 257,817 228,291 12.9% 1,376,889 1,287,265 7.0% 2,626,044 2,542,326 2,476,435 2.7%

Notes:

Austria, Denmark, Greece, Luxembourg and Switzerland: estimates for latest month

The percent change in the final column compares the average selling rate in the year-to-date with the last full year.

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