By on November 16, 2010

New car registrations in the 27 countries of the EU crashed by 16.6 percent to 1,027,036 units in October. That according to the latest statistics of the European manufacturer organization ACEA. The year looks a bit better: In the first 10 months, demand for new cars has decreased by 5.5 percent, totaling 11,279,542 new vehicles registered.

Europe is in the throes of a big cash for clunker induced hangover. It will take a lot of Aspirin, and into 2011 to get over it. Even compared with October 2008, the market in the EU27 is down 9.4 percent. Compared with the first ten months of 2008, sales are down 12 percent.

Any way you look at it: It’s down.

Double digit contractions are being reported from all major markets in Europe, ranging from -18.5 percent in France, to -20.0 percent in Germany, -22.2 percent in the UK, -28.8 percent in Italy and -37.6 percent in Spain.

Two markets registered triple digit gains: Ireland’s new car sales rose 114.6 percent (from 1,530 last year to 3,284 this time around.) Estonia’s car market exploded by 121.2 percent. They sold 993 cars this October, compared to 449 in October last year.

If you look at the data (here in PDF and here as Excel,) you will see the markets that didn’t receive steroid injections last year slowly recover. You also see the drug recipients exhibiting serious withdrawal symptoms.

On the manufacturer front, not much to report. VW remains the emperor of Europe with a more or less unchanged market share of 21.3 percent for the year. Next is PSA, up half a percent to 13.5 percent. Renault keeps gaining market share, up to 10.3 from 9.1 in the first ten months. GM is holding its own (8.6 percent compared to 9.1, but Saab is gone). Fiat loses a good percent of share to 7.8. And so on. The field hasn’t changed dramatically. If you look at all the Octobers for the last years, matters appear less dramatic than they may sound.

What has changed is not on the list: The makers with heavy exports to China, notably the Germans, are doing much better than the numbers make you believe.

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