By on January 16, 2013

New car registrations dropped a painful 16.3 percent in Europe in an acceleration of a long, and initially slow a downward trend. The European carmaker association ACEA calls the decline ”the steepest recorded in a month of December since 2008.” For the year the EU market was down 8.2 percent to 12,053,904 units, which is the “lowest level recorded since 1995,” says the ACEA.

Most of the Europe’s volume markets recorded a double-digit downturn ranging from -14.6 percent in France to -16.4 percent in Germany, -22.5 percent in Italy and -23.0 percent in Spain. The UK was the only volume market to post growth (+3.7 percent).

Industry contacts in Europe explain the acceleration not with a decreasing reluctance to buy cars. “A lot of people stopped buying cars long ago,” said a contact at a large European OEM, “but the dealers continued to buy. This is coming to an end.” He was alluding to the phenomenon of “one day registrations” where dealers buy the car to make their quota and to collect the incentive money, only to put the car up for sale “used” the next day at prices of sometimes 30 percent below list. When sold, these new cars then show up in the used car registration numbers.

In the meantime, supply and production have been adjusted, the bulge has worked itself through the anaconda and has been digested. We can expect sales data that more reflect real buying behavior.

EU New passenger car registrations 2012
January – December
    %Share Units Units % Chg
’12 ’11 ’12 ’11 12/11
ALL BRANDS** 12,053,904 13,130,466 -8.2
VW Group 24.7 23.0 2,977,416 3,026,192 -1.6
VOLKSWAGEN 12.8 12.3 1,541,643 1,616,483 -4.6
AUDI 5.6 5.0 673,647 653,427 +3.1
SEAT 2.1 2.3 251,528 296,145 -15.1
SKODA 3.9 3.5 465,341 458,209 +1.6
Others (1) 0.4 0.0 45,257 1,928 +2247.4
PSA Group 11.9 12.5 1,431,063 1,643,457 -12.9
PEUGEOT 6.4 6.8 774,435 889,264 -12.9
CITROEN 5.4 5.7 656,628 754,193 -12.9
RENAULT Group 8.5 9.7 1,030,321 1,273,178 -19.1
RENAULT 6.6 7.8 795,972 1,026,736 -22.5
DACIA 1.9 1.9 234,349 246,442 -4.9
GM Group 8.2 8.7 984,177 1,142,117 -13.8
OPEL/VAUXHALL 6.8 7.4 815,961 968,550 -15.8
CHEVROLET 1.4 1.3 167,917 173,083 -3.0
GM (US) 0.0 0.0 299 484 -38.2
FORD 7.6 8.0 910,318 1,048,814 -13.2
FIAT Group 6.5 7.1 779,606 929,551 -16.1
FIAT 4.7 5.1 570,980 673,401 -15.2
LANCIA/CHRYSLER 0.8 0.8 92,446 102,122 -9.5
ALFA ROMEO 0.7 1.0 86,858 125,924 -31.0
JEEP 0.2 0.2 25,673 22,211 +15.6
Others (2) 0.0 0.0 3,649 5,893 -38.1
BMW Group 6.4 5.9 767,541 781,248 -1.8
BMW 5.1 4.7 614,779 618,029 -0.5
MINI 1.3 1.2 152,762 163,219 -6.4
DAIMLER 5.3 5.0 633,142 652,790 -3.0
MERCEDES 4.7 4.4 565,161 575,243 -1.8
SMART 0.6 0.6 67,981 77,547 -12.3
TOYOTA Group 4.2 4.0 507,731 523,909 -3.1
TOYOTA 4.0 3.8 483,131 498,384 -3.1
LEXUS 0.2 0.2 24,600 25,525 -3.6
NISSAN 3.5 3.4 417,636 445,826 -6.3
HYUNDAI 3.4 2.9 414,827 379,144 +9.4
KIA 2.7 2.2 327,995 287,388 +14.1
VOLVO CAR CORP. 1.8 1.8 212,578 235,841 -9.9
SUZUKI 1.2 1.3 144,292 167,071 -13.6
HONDA 1.1 1.1 133,462 142,436 -6.3
JAGUAR LAND ROVER Group 1.0 0.7 120,033 95,420 +25.8
LAND ROVER 0.8 0.6 96,847 72,793 +33.0
JAGUAR 0.2 0.2 23,186 22,627 +2.5
MAZDA 0.9 1.0 114,208 128,721 -11.3
MITSUBISHI 0.6 0.8 67,888 101,337 -33.0
OTHER** 0.7 1.0 79,669 126,026 -36.8
Source: ACEA

For the year, the Volkswagen Group weathered the downturn with only a 1.6 percent loss, and a 1.7 percent gain in Market share. GM, Ford and Fiat had to digest double digit losses, so did PSA and Renault.

EU New passenger car registrations December 2012
December
    %Share Units Units % Chg
’12 ’11 ’12 ’11 12/11
ALL BRANDS** 799,407 955,537 -16.3
VW Group 23.3 23.3 186,347 222,492 -16.2
VOLKSWAGEN 11.7 12.6 93,309 120,021 -22.3
AUDI 4.7 4.8 37,247 45,964 -19.0
SEAT 2.3 2.3 18,637 21,994 -15.3
SKODA 4.2 3.6 33,811 34,388 -1.7
Others (1) 0.4 0.0 3,343 125 +2574.4
PSA Group 11.2 11.5 89,710 109,666 -18.2
PEUGEOT 6.2 6.1 49,694 58,276 -14.7
CITROEN 5.0 5.4 40,016 51,390 -22.1
RENAULT Group 9.3 9.7 74,652 92,237 -19.1
RENAULT 6.9 7.7 55,300 73,659 -24.9
DACIA 2.4 1.9 19,352 18,578 +4.2
GM Group 7.8 9.0 62,640 86,044 -27.2
OPEL/VAUXHALL 6.5 7.4 52,130 70,657 -26.2
CHEVROLET 1.3 1.6 10,500 15,331 -31.5
GM (US) 0.0 0.0 10 56 -82.1
FORD 6.6 7.5 52,475 71,884 -27.0
FIAT Group 6.2 6.3 49,311 60,010 -17.8
FIAT 4.6 4.5 36,424 42,798 -14.9
LANCIA/CHRYSLER 0.7 0.8 5,529 7,227 -23.5
ALFA ROMEO 0.6 0.8 4,984 7,713 -35.4
JEEP 0.3 0.2 2,204 1,988 +10.9
Others (2) 0.0 0.0 170 284 -40.1
BMW Group 7.9 6.6 63,171 62,993 +0.3
BMW 6.4 5.1 50,810 49,033 +3.6
MINI 1.5 1.5 12,361 13,960 -11.5
DAIMLER 5.8 5.3 46,519 50,965 -8.7
MERCEDES 5.4 4.8 42,893 45,915 -6.6
SMART 0.5 0.5 3,626 5,050 -28.2
TOYOTA Group 4.5 4.8 36,051 45,965 -21.6
TOYOTA 4.4 4.6 34,985 43,704 -20.0
LEXUS 0.1 0.2 1,066 2,261 -52.9
NISSAN 3.4 3.3 26,999 31,104 -13.2
HYUNDAI 4.2 3.2 33,337 30,177 +10.5
KIA 3.0 2.3 23,702 22,195 +6.8
VOLVO CAR CORP. 2.2 1.8 17,565 17,109 +2.7
SUZUKI 1.1 1.3 8,543 12,325 -30.7
HONDA 1.1 1.0 9,029 9,630 -6.2
JAGUAR LAND ROVER Group 1.1 0.9 8,912 8,327 +7.0
LAND ROVER 0.9 0.7 7,023 6,637 +5.8
JAGUAR 0.2 0.2 1,889 1,690 +11.8
MAZDA 1.0 0.8 7,695 7,253 +6.1
MITSUBISHI 0.6 0.6 4,643 6,191 -25.0
OTHER -0.2 0.9 -1,894 8,970 -121.1
Source: ACEA

In December, Volkswagen registered similar losses as those of its major competitors. However, a lot of this goes on account of the Golf 7 launch. It had started in November and still hasn’t reached all of Europe.  Audi and Seat however also did hurt.

Data are available as Excel file here and as PDF here. A historical series of yearly data, going back until 1990 can be downloaded here.

Get the latest TTAC e-Newsletter!

9 Comments on “Europe Ends The Year With A Bang – On The Nose...”


  • avatar
    jpolicke

    Interesting how Jeep is the only good news for the FIAT group, and Lancia/Chrysler brand is the “least bad” of the bad news. Growth in market share for Hyundai/Kia is also impressive.

  • avatar
    marjanmm

    A few observations:

    Interestingly PSA did better than Renault, Opel, Ford and Fiat.
    Hyundai and Kia are incredible, taken together they sell almost as many cars as Renault which had traditionally been the second biggest Euro brand.
    Premium brands do not feel the pain, the well to do are much less affected by the crises.

    • 0 avatar
      CJinSD

      Environmentalism is all about eliminating the middle class. Wealthy leftists are fully cognizant of the harm their policies do to the working class. It never stops them from pushing forward, just shapes their marketing efforts.

      • 0 avatar
        bd2

        Geeze, do you have a deluded sense of the world.

        It’s the financiers/corporate CEOs who have gutted the middle class by sucking $$ out of the middle class thru “financial engineering” (the dotcom bubble and crash followed by the RE bubble and crash, not to mention all the speculation in futures trading) and shipping jobs overseas to China.

        Over the past 2 decades, we have seen the greatest transfer of wealth in the world – from the US middle class to:

        1. Wall St./hedge funds/corporate/banking CEOs
        2. China
        3. Oil rich states
        4. military industrial complex

      • 0 avatar
        CJinSD

        Like I said, it just shapes their marketing campaign. The business elite and the leftist politicians that enact the policies that drive outsourcing to China are not two distinct groups. There’s a revolving door between the two business cards. Fortunately for them, most people respond as you do to brainwashing.

  • avatar
    bd2

    Based on the December figures, Hyundai/Kia are getting close to catching up to the combined sales of Toyota and Nissan.

  • avatar
    50merc

    Sure, sales are a little soft right now, but the long-term future is bright. Europeans are having kids like crazy and there’s no end in sight to the population boom. Regulatory hurdles are being swept away. Yes, manufacturers won’t be able to keep up with demand!

    • 0 avatar
      Onus

      Wonderful sarcasm sir!

    • 0 avatar
      marjanmm

      This crisis has shown at least financial industry and banking need much more regulatory hurdles. Yesterday’s EU regulation of the rating agencies (otherwise known as the writers of fiction dictated by the rest of the financial industry) may be a step in a right direction. Perhaps next can be the US hedge funds who until the last summer continued to place enormous bets against Euro working at the top of their ability to bring downfall to Eurozone and poverty to so many of its citizens.


Back to TopLeave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Subscribe without commenting

Recent Comments

New Car Research

Get a Free Dealer Quote

Staff

  • Authors

  • Brendan McAleer, Canada
  • Marcelo De Vasconcellos, Brazil
  • Matthias Gasnier, Australia
  • W. Christian 'Mental' Ward, Abu Dhabi
  • Mark Stevenson, Canada
  • Faisal Ali Khan, India