The European car market – if taken together, the world’s second largest behind China and before the U.S. – continues its slow drift to the bottom. Sales in May were down by 8.7 percent in the EU. This is the eighth month in a row that sales are in minus territory. Five months into the year, the market is down 7.7 percent.
18 out of 26 EU countries are down, now including all volume markets except the U.K. Greece leads the list of laggards with sales down 47.3 percent. However, the crisis is no longer a southern affair. Second worst country in terms of sales is Finland.
|VOLVO CAR CORP.||1.7||1.8||18,384||21,801||-15.7|
|JAGUAR LAND ROVER Group||0.8||0.6||9,402||6,991||+34.5|
Manufacturer-wise, all large European manufacturers are down, led by PSA (-19.5 percent), Renault ( – 13.1 percent), Ford (-12.8 percent) and Fiat (-12.6 percent).
The GM Group is down 8.4 percent. Losses at Opel (-12.3 percent) are offset by a 16.2 percent gain at Chevrolet.
In May, a total of 13 GM cars are listed as imported from the U.S. Following Detroit logic, which postulates that a market must be closed if American cars don’t sell , complaints at the WTO should be imminent.
As predicted yesterday, Volkswagen’s sales are down in Europe. They are down 5.7 percent in May, they are down 2.4 percent January through May. Volkswagen’s data department lists sales as unchanged in May, and up by 1.3 percent January through May. Must be a different Europe.