There may be a cloud of uncertainty hanging over Europe (and we all know that uncertainty doesn’t encourage people to spend) and the continent’s economy isn’t out of the woods yet, but new car sales is at its highest since 2007. November year to date car sales are up 6.8% compared to the same period in 2015, Autocar reports.
According to research by JATO Dynamics, Europeans bought a total of 13,937,339 cars in 2016 so far, with 1,184,140 of those sales taking place in November, which is 5% more compared to the same month in 2015. Despite Brexit concerns, the UK is Europe’s fourth-fastest-growing market, with YTD sales increasing by 2.9%. Spain and France are Europe’s highest jumpers, with demand up by 13% and 8.2% respectively.
At the top of the pile is of course the Volkswagen Group, despite its Dieselgate woes. The German giant has a European market share of 24.56%, which is just 0.28% lower than the same period in 2015. The Renault-Nissan Alliance is second with 14.1%, a 0.72% increase. The fastest growth was recorded by Daimler at 0.83%, for fifth overall. The PSA Group (Peugeot and Citroen) slipped 1.19% but is still third overall.
No surprises as to which segment is the fastest growing. SUVs accounted for 316,278 sales in November alone – up 16.1% year-on-year – and made up over a quarter (26.7%) of European car sales.
“It’s looking highly likely that 2016 will top 2015’s strong registration figures, which is a remarkable feat given the political and economic uncertainty that has dominated. However, it’s important that this growth isn’t taken for granted, as 2017 will bring further uncertainty, with the UK expected to trigger Article 50 in March, beginning the process of exiting the EU,” said Felipe Munoz, global automotive analyst at JATO Dynamics.
It is widely predicted that UK’s exit from the EU will dent consumer confidence in both Britain and mainland Europe, which means that 2016 could be the peak of car sales growth. But no one predicted such a strong showing for this year, so we never truly know. Closer to home, Malaysia and Thailand will both see declines in auto sales for 2016.