By on March 15, 2012

Now, it is beginning to hurt: The European new car market crashed in February. According to data released by the European manufacturers’ association ACEA, new car sales were down 9.7 percent in February. Two months into the year, car sales in the EU are down 8.3 percent from the same period a year earlier.

The harmless looking percentages hide the fact that this February was the worst of the millennium. Only 888,878 units changed hands in the EU27 in February, the lowest level since comparing months made sense (going back further is futile, the EU was much smaller then…) Even during carmageddon, Europe had not seen a February as bad as this one.

EU basket cases Greece and Portugal saw their new car sales nearly halved. These are relatively unimportant markets, by now, tiny Luxemburg has more car sales than Greece. If Greece would leave the EU, it would not even register in the car statistics. What hurts much more is the deterioration of the volume markets. France is down 20.2 percent, not boding well for PSA and Renault. Italy is down 18.9 percent, putting pressure on Fiat. Flat sales in Germany spared Europe a double digit tanking.

February
    %Share Units Units % Chg
’12 ’11 ’12 ’11 12/11
ALL BRANDS 888,878 984,010 -9.7
VW Group 23.7 22.0 211,018 216,582 -2.6
VOLKSWAGEN 12.9 11.8 114,240 116,273 -1.7
AUDI 4.8 4.5 43,093 44,354 -2.8
SEAT 2.0 2.1 17,846 20,217 -11.7
SKODA 4.0 3.6 35,711 35,695 +0.0
Others 0.0 0.0 128 43 +197.7
PSA Group 13.0 14.1 115,690 139,096 -16.8
PEUGEOT 6.7 7.7 59,773 75,590 -20.9
CITROEN 6.3 6.5 55,917 63,506 -12.0
RENAULT Group 9.5 11.3 84,620 111,341 -24.0
RENAULT 7.6 9.5 67,361 93,129 -27.7
DACIA 1.9 1.9 17,259 18,212 -5.2
FORD 7.4 7.3 66,001 71,673 -7.9
GM Group 8.1 8.5 72,437 84,075 -13.8
OPEL/VAUXHALL 6.5 7.2 57,542 71,201 -19.2
CHEVROLET 1.7 1.3 14,876 12,800 +16.2
GM (US) 0.0 0.0 19 74 -74.3
FIAT Group 7.3 7.9 64,909 77,943 -16.7
FIAT 5.2 5.7 45,889 56,330 -18.5
LANCIA/CHRYSLER 1.0 0.9 8,821 8,567 +3.0
ALFA ROMEO 0.9 1.1 7,855 11,167 -29.7
JEEP 0.2 0.1 2,079 1,308 +58.9
Others 0.0 0.1 265 571 -53.6
BMW Group 5.3 4.9 47,489 48,187 -1.4
BMW 4.3 4.1 38,083 39,894 -4.5
MINI 1.1 0.8 9,406 8,293 +13.4
DAIMLER 4.9 4.2 43,159 41,399 +4.3
MERCEDES 4.3 3.7 37,969 35,946 +5.6
SMART 0.6 0.6 5,190 5,453 -4.8
TOYOTA Group 3.9 4.1 34,898 40,726 -14.3
TOYOTA 3.8 4.0 33,358 39,852 -16.3
LEXUS 0.2 0.1 1,540 874 +76.2
NISSAN 3.4 3.4 29,822 33,215 -10.2
HYUNDAI 3.4 2.9 29,973 28,325 +5.8
KIA 2.5 1.7 22,134 16,924 +30.8
VOLVO CAR CORP. 1.8 1.7 15,635 16,579 -5.7
SUZUKI 1.1 1.4 10,096 13,766 -26.7
MAZDA 0.9 0.9 8,352 9,294 -10.1
JAGUAR LAND ROVER Group 0.8 0.4 6,786 4,396 +54.4
LAND ROVER 0.7 0.4 5,808 3,497 +66.1
JAGUAR 0.1 0.1 978 899 +8.8
HONDA 0.8 1.2 7,445 11,418 -34.8
MITSUBISHI 0.6 0.9 5,586 8,693 -35.7
OTHER 1.4 1.1 12,828 10,378 +23.6

On the manufacturer front, the Volkswagen Group solidified its leadership. Its market share climbed 1.7 percent to 23.7 percent in February. PSA lost 1.1 percent, Renault lost 1.8 percent, Fiat lost 0.6 percent. These makers not only have maximum exposure to their home markets. They also are heavy in the troubled south of Europe and are weak in developing markets.

The GM Group is holding its own, losing only 0.4 percent of share. A 0.8 percent loss at Opel was buffered by a 0.4 percent gain in market share of Chevrolet. It looks like GM is busy propping up Chevrolet at the expense of Opel/Vauxhall. Two month into the year, Opel’s sales have dropped 20.3 percent, whereas Chevrolet has gained 22 percent.

Toyota and Nissan lose, Hyundai and Kia gain. Hyundai is now in spitting distance from Nissan, and not too far from Toyota.

Full data can be downloaded here as PDF and here as Excel spreadsheet.

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6 Comments on “European New Car Sales: Worst February Of The Millennium...”


  • avatar
    Mark MacInnis

    Europe is the canary in the coal mine as far as the world economy goes…..and the auto industry is the canary in the coal mine as far as Europe goes…

    The austerity measures are going to hurt in the short run…there will be a global recession….but in the long run, it will be healthier for it.

    Would that the US would have done the same thing in 2009….

    The world economy risk is now rampant inflation in which the highly devalued US dollar will drag the rest of the world into stagflation.

    Buy gold, more ammo, water filters, freeze-dried foods and canned goods, and diesel fuel or white gas for the genny….and batteries. Lots of batteries.

    The shyte is about to hit the air-moving apparatus,mates.

  • avatar
    tparkit

    It’s SHTF time in China, too:

    http://globaleconomicanalysis.blogspot.com/2012/03/curbs-needed-to-avoid-china-property.html

    Though the global debt bubble was encouraged and constructed — and now denied — by governments everywhere, the party is over.

  • avatar
    obruni

    for all the hype about Brazil, its economy only grew by 2.7% in 2011.

    http://blogs.ft.com/beyond-brics/2012/03/06/snap-brazil-gdp-falling-behind/

    South Africa cut its GDP growth forecast to 2.7% for 2012, far below levels needed to create jobs

    http://af.reuters.com/article/commoditiesNews/idAFJ8E7JM02220120222

    Russia is about the same. the only BRICS economy not showing gloom and doom right now is India.

    the nice thing about the US economy is that it isn’t as export dependant for growth. Exports to Europe only represent 3% of the economy; a recession in Europe would not cause one in the US unless it creates another bnaking crisis.

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/03/15/us-usa-economy-instantphilly-idUSBRE82E0QO20120315

    • 0 avatar
      tparkit

      To get to a recession — indeed, a depression — we don’t need a recession in Europe. We’re already there:

      http://globaleconomicanalysis.blogspot.com/2012/03/gallup-struggles-to-explain-bls-jobs.html


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