Europe February Sales: The Good, The Bad, And The Basket Cases
The European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA) has released their February numbers, Reuters reports. European new car registrations fell 18.3 percent in February, says the ACEA. That’s much better than the 41.3 percent decline the USA suffered in the same month. But it could have been worse had it not been for Germany. Here, registrations soared 21.5 percent in February. The only other market in Western Europe to show growth was tiny Luxembourg—up a tiny 0.3 percent
The German market boosted Western Europe’s tally, with “strong demand in certain market segments following the recent motor vehicle tax reform and scrapping bonus introduced by the German government.” France, which also gives cash for clunkers, but only €1K (as opposed to €2.5K in Deutschland) saw a rather benign drop of 13 percent.
Western European car registrations fell 17.3 percent, while new member states saw a 30.3 percent drop.
Iceland put auto purchases on ice, with a drop of 91.2 percent. Crisis-hit Spain was down 48.8 percent, while Italian registrations dropped 24.4 percent and the UK posted a 21.9 percent decrease.
New member states were a mixed bag: Poland registered a 7.3 percent increase on February last year, with 30,194 new cars registered, while Hungary’s registrations dropped 46.4 percent and Romania plunged 66.5 percent.
Across Europe in February, Europe’s largest carmaker, Volkswagen, posted a 10.2 percent drop in new passenger car registrations for the group, while its Spanish Seat brand saw a 31.2 percent fall, and the Volkswagen brand declined by 6.2 percent.
Within Daimler, the Mercedes premium brand posted a 34.2 percent plunge, while Smart car registrations edged up 0.6 percent compared with February 2008 leaving the group as a whole down 29.8 percent.
The PSA Peugeot Citroen group saw new registrations fall by 25.3 percent, while fellow French manufacturer Renault was down 23.1 percent.
Italy’s Fiat posted a 16.5 percent group-wide decline.
GM, whose European brands including Sweden’s Saab and Germany’s Opel are fighting for survival, posted a 21.9 percent drop in February registrations.
For the raw data per brand, click here and ye shall receive.
KeithF on Mar 14, 2009
How much of Germany's strategy is really just accelerating next year's purchases into this year though? At some point most people will have new-ish cars and the resulting sales slowdown will be worse than now for longer than it would have been. The car companies did this in America with rebates and incentives for years--didn't need the gov't to throw in another paltry $2500. They pulled sales forward and hollowed out future demand (like now) for current demand (2007/2008). Oh well...
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