Europes car market has recovered since the last recession, but is now topping out at around 14.5m units a year

Europe's car market has recovered since the last recession, but is now topping out at around 14.5m units a year

Data released by LMC Automotive shows that the West European car market grew by 9.1%, year on year (YoY), in April. The selling rate for the region picked up from 14.1m units a year in March to 14.4m units a year in April.

The Spanish car market delivered the largest percentage YoY increase of the major markets, at 12.3%. The Spanish market is also notable for having seen double-digit growth, of 11%, in the year-to-date (YTD). Germany also enjoyed a strong month, with the market expanding by 8%, as the selling rate moved towards 3.5m units a year.

France continued a run of robust results with a 9% YoY increase in April, while Italy also saw a solid YoY rise in April, of 6.5%, which returned the market to growth in YTD terms, albeit only to the tune of 0.2%.

For the first time in just over a year, the UK market saw YoY growth, of 10.4%, but this was due to base effects as sales fell in April 2017.

LMC said that given seasonal effects were at work in a number of markets in April, it left its overall 2018 projection for the West European car market little changed from last month, with growth of 1.8%.

LMC also said the introduction of the WLTP emissions and fuel economy tests, and any possible impact on sales due to taxation changes, is a risk to the forecast.

West European car sales, April 2018

April 18April 17%chJan-April 18Jan-April 17%ch
WESTERN EUROPE122468011222549.1514440250548171.8

Source: LMC Automotive

 Greece and Luxembourg: estimates for latest month.
Greece data source has changed to Sales from Registrations.

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