Europe’s car manufacturer association ACEA finally got around to tallying-up the car sales in all 27 EU states, and while they were at it, those of the EFTA (Iceland, Norway, Switzerland) as well. Overall, the EU market is down 5.5 percent – compared to 2009. In 2009 many EU states had pushed up the market with generous cash for clunker money. Most of these programs came to an end in 2010, just not at the same time everywhere. The picture tells it best.
From country to country, it’s a mixed bag. The countries that had clunker programs look bad in comparison, but keep in mind, some of them had been on such an uncle sugar high in 2009 that one could scratch them from the ceiling. The countries that didn’t have programs suffered in 2009, and look peachy this year.
Actually, Europe’s “volume markets”, Germany, Italy, France, UK, are responsible for most of the drop. All had cash for clunker programs. Germany had the most massive program. Germans usually buy 3 million cars a year. During 2009, with the program in effect until late summer, Germans bought 3.8 million cars. In 2010, they were back to 2.9 million. Without that 890,000 unit difference, Europe would report a gain. Italy also discontinued a program to the tune of 200,000 units less in 2010. France showed expertise with addictive substances and weened its populace off slowly. The UK actually shows a small gain.
All in all, the cash for clunker programs were a success. Europe survived carmageddon with minor bruises. In 2008, 14.3 million new cars were sold in the EU27. In 2009, it was 14.1 million. In 2010, it was 13.4 million. Keeping in mind that many had predicted that the EU would fall apart, that’s not a bad series of numbers.
|New Car sales EU 27 2010|
|Country||Sales 2010||Percent change|
On the manufacturer front, not much has changed. VW remains the unassailable king of the hill. Considering that Opel had been pronounced as good as dead, GM performed well and increased its market share from 8.4 percent to 10, putting Ford into 5th place. Fiat is hurting. BMW is recovering. Daimler is treading water.