By on February 19, 2013

European new car sales had their worst January in recorded history. The European manufacturers organization ACEA started recording in 1990, and it had never seen a January as bad. New car registrations were down 8.7 percent to 885,159 units in the EU.

TTAC readers were pre-warned.  As reported earlier in the month, volume markets such as Germany (-8.6%), Spain (-9.6%), France (-15.1%) and Italy (-17.6%) were down by the double digits.  Only the UK (+11.5%) posted growth.

Ford, down 25.5 percent, is hard hit. GM is down only 5.5 percent, with  Chevrolet down a whopping 40.2 percent, Opel is up 4.5 percent. PSA, down 16.3 percent, continues its swirl down the drain. Renault is down a benign 5.6 percent, Fiat lost 12.3 percent. Volkswagen, down 5.2 percent, keeps gaining market share. (Volkswagen’s odd “others” number is mostly Porsche, which became a Volkswagen brand in August 2012.)

New Car Sales EU January 2013
January
    %Share Units Units % Chg
’13 ’12 ’13 ’12 13/12
ALL BRANDS** 885,159 969,219 -8.7
VW Group 24.4 23.5 215,861 227,728 -5.2
VOLKSWAGEN 12.3 12.8 108,744 123,660 -12.1
AUDI 5.4 5.1 48,115 49,033 -1.9
SEAT 2.2 1.9 19,776 18,655 +6.0
SKODA 4.0 3.7 35,753 36,182 -1.2
Others (1) 0.4 0.0 3,473 198 +1654.0
PSA Group 11.5 12.5 101,680 121,475 -16.3
PEUGEOT 6.2 6.8 54,845 65,762 -16.6
CITROEN 5.3 5.7 46,835 55,713 -15.9
RENAULT Group 8.6 8.3 76,206 80,751 -5.6
RENAULT 6.3 6.4 55,921 62,115 -10.0
DACIA 2.3 1.9 20,285 18,636 +8.8
GM Group 7.7 7.4 68,179 72,114 -5.5
OPEL/VAUXHALL 6.6 5.8 58,637 56,130 +4.5
CHEVROLET 1.1 1.6 9,521 15,930 -40.2
GM (US) 0.0 0.0 21 54 -61.1
FORD 6.8 8.3 60,036 80,635 -25.5
FIAT Group 6.7 7.0 59,704 68,090 -12.3
FIAT 5.2 5.0 46,094 48,014 -4.0
LANCIA/CHRYSLER 0.7 0.9 6,120 8,929 -31.5
ALFA ROMEO 0.6 0.9 5,412 8,616 -37.2
JEEP 0.2 0.2 1,791 2,128 -15.8
Others (2) 0.0 0.0 287 403 -28.8
BMW Group 6.2 5.3 54,651 51,272 +6.6
BMW 5.2 4.3 45,809 41,737 +9.8
MINI 1.0 1.0 8,842 9,535 -7.3
DAIMLER 5.6 4.9 49,224 47,469 +3.7
MERCEDES 5.0 4.3 43,911 41,947 +4.7
SMART 0.6 0.6 5,313 5,522 -3.8
TOYOTA Group 4.3 4.7 37,715 45,337 -16.8
TOYOTA 4.1 4.4 36,074 42,219 -14.6
LEXUS 0.2 0.3 1,641 3,118 -47.4
NISSAN 3.7 3.6 32,957 35,057 -6.0
HYUNDAI 3.6 3.3 31,722 32,379 -2.0
KIA 2.6 2.2 23,174 21,609 +7.2
VOLVO CAR CORP. 1.7 1.9 15,253 18,559 -17.8
JAGUAR LAND ROVER Group 1.3 1.0 11,477 9,641 +19.0
LAND ROVER 1.1 0.8 9,446 7,970 +18.5
JAGUAR 0.2 0.2 2,031 1,671 +21.5
SUZUKI 1.2 1.3 10,299 12,695 -18.9
HONDA 1.1 0.9 9,414 8,535 +10.3
MAZDA 1.0 0.9 9,241 8,294 +11.4
MITSUBISHI 0.5 0.7 4,518 7,214 -37.4
OTHER** 1.6 2.1 13,848 20,365 -32.0

Data can be downloaded as PDF and as Excel sheet.

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16 Comments on “European New Car Sales Reach New Lows...”


  • avatar
    spreadsheet monkey

    Grim numbers. No idea how Honda is achieving that +10% gain – certainly here in the UK, their model range is weak.

    -25% for Ford is also surprising. I thought the new Fiesta and Focus were supposed to be doing well.

  • avatar

    Opel/Vauxhall was up?
    Last yr they were fifth behind VW,Ford and Peugeot and Renault and now they barely trail Ford and of course VW?
    And this is the Division killing GM?
    Either England is buying an incredible number of cars,or the Euro car makers are in far,far worse shape than I for one thought,or ….

    • 0 avatar
      mike978

      Looking at Auto News the new Mokka (aka the Buick Encore) is doing very well for Opel/Vauxhall.
      Opel gaining sales (and market share) while others dropping was a surprise. Excluding Toyota from the text (unlike auto news) was not surprising.
      Other Japanese companies like Honda and Mazda grew (in absolute numbers as well as market share). Why didn`t Toyota? They did worse (slightly) than the much maligned PSA group.

      http://www.autonews.com/article/20130219/COPY01/302199864/ford-psa-and-toyota-hit-hard-as-europe-sales-slump-to-23-year-low#axzz2LMX3AbyK

  • avatar
    Conslaw

    The sharp decline in EU auto sales only goes to confirm what Paul Krugman and other economists have been saying that in the case of economies which are stagnant due to low consumer demand, public austerity fuels private austerity. You get into a negative feedback loop, and the economy goes down fast. The Europeans are showing the Americans what NOT to do in the case of government policy. If we don’t heed their lesson, shame on us.

    • 0 avatar
      geeber

      Except, of course, for the inconvenient fact that this embrace of “austerity” by European countries is largely a myth.

      • 0 avatar
        mike978

        Not in the UK. There has been sustained welfare cuts and other spending reductions.

      • 0 avatar
        geeber

        Through 2012, the United Kingdom had only reduced the rate of spending growth. The rate of spending growth has fallen below the rate of inflation in the United Kingdom, but that is not the same thing as an actual cut in spending, and hardly constitutes a move towards “austerity.”

      • 0 avatar
        th009

        Italian government spending is down 3% from the peak, Spain is down 7% — and Ireland, Greece and Portugal are all down around 20%. Not a myth.

      • 0 avatar
        geeber

        Italy cut spending in 2009-10, but increased it by a larger amount the following year. Spain’s reductions only brought its spending level to slightly below the 2009 level. (This reduction, incidentally, followed a massive increase in spending by the Spanish government from 2002 through 2009.)

        Those are hardly draconian “cuts,” nor do they represent a real turn toward “austerity.”

        France and Great Britain have not made any significant reductions in spending. At best, Great Britain has slowed the rate of spending growth.

        The idea that Europe is in the throes of “austerity mania” is a myth.

    • 0 avatar
      MeaCulpa

      Yes, the countries with a more or less balanced budget are truly struggling. Sweden, Norway, Finland, Estonia and Germany are taking a beating and the countries running a healty defecit are prospering…. Krugman is just rehashing Keynes.

      • 0 avatar
        th009

        Huh? Germany is down 8.6% … not so bad compared to France (15.1%) or Italy (17.6%).

        Finland is down heavily because car taxation increased in April 2012 so early 2012 saw very strong sales. Little to do with deficits, much to do with taxes on cars.

      • 0 avatar
        MeaCulpa

        @th009

        I wasn’t talking about car sales. The countries with balanced budgets are doing much better as a whole then the countries that are running a deficit. The poster I replied to used these numbers as proof of the good things about Keynes (or the hack Krugman) ideas about economics, when in reality the fiscally responsible countries are doing much better on a broad range of indicators then the borrow and spend countries.

  • avatar
    th009

    What’s going on with Ford for the 25% volume drop? Are they refusing to discount at the risk of losing market share (and having to idle plants)?

    Audi down slightly (A3 intro?), BMW up almost 10%, Mercedes also up, so the top-three premium race looks much closer for 2013.

    On the other hand, Alfa is down 37%, now selling at a 65K annual rate.

  • avatar
    gslippy

    Thanks for the historical data going back to 2003.

    Looks like there’s been a 7% YOY drop over the last 5 years. Sergio is right about overcapacity.

    Moreover, this slump is sure to affect the US market soon.

  • avatar
    Adrian Roman

    Go Dacia !!!

    What has been said over and over is coming true – only premium and low cost brands will have growth in Europe. Look at the table, BMW, Mercedes and JLR group are up, Dacia too. Honda and Mazda are up due to their very good reliability right now, what little is left of the middle class buyers is migrating to them from VW, Ford, etc.


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