Europe in July/August: OMG, We're Growing!

Bertel Schmitt
by Bertel Schmitt

If you are tired of carmageddon, and you are not ready for the dizzying near-triple-digit growth rates of China, go to Ye Olde Country (as long as your $ still buys something). Europe as a whole is slowly clawing its way back into a territory long forgotten: Growth. Slow, but steady growth.


The Association des Constructeurs Européens d’Automobiles (ACEA), a.k.a. the European Automobile Manufacturers Association, has returned from its summer vacation, and has compiled the European new car registration statistics for July and August. Never mind July, the Verband der Automobilindustrie (VDA) did the July counting while the ACEA was at the Côte d’Azur.

Today, the ACEA reports that Europe as a whole proceeds on its slow but steady growth out of the abyss. The growth had started in June with +2.4 percent, continued in July with +2.8 percent. August comes in with +3 percent. It’s not much growth, but growth is growth, and it’s trending up.

According to the ACEA, the numbers are the bottom line of “starkly varying results in individual countries.” Western Europe as a whole is up 7.8 percent, the new EU member states in the East are still in the dumps by -35.2 percent, but recovering. Germany recorded a 28.4 percent plus, while the UK (+6.0 percent), France (+7.0 percent) and Italy (+8.5 percent) also performed better than a year ago. Even dead country walking Spain saw its market stabilize at a fat 0.0 percent over August 08. The new EU Member States are a mixed bag with Slovakia (+26.2 percent), the Czech Republic (+16.3 percent) and Poland (+3.1 percent) up, while other countries such as Hungary (-68.4 percent) and Romania (-71.9 percent) are still in emergency care. Iceland, Estonia and Latvia have pretty much sworn off buying any new cars.

For all of the for eight months of the year, new registrations in all of Europe are still down 8.1 percent. However, this is much less than the doomsday predictions prognosticated. All in all, Europe is on the mend. For the time being. For deep data divers, all numbers by country, brand , market share and whatnot are available for your number crunching pleasure as a PDF, and for the really hard-core crowd as Excel.

Bertel Schmitt
Bertel Schmitt

Bertel Schmitt comes back to journalism after taking a 35 year break in advertising and marketing. He ran and owned advertising agencies in Duesseldorf, Germany, and New York City. Volkswagen A.G. was Bertel's most important corporate account. Schmitt's advertising and marketing career touched many corners of the industry with a special focus on automotive products and services. Since 2004, he lives in Japan and China with his wife <a href="http://www.tomokoandbertel.com"> Tomoko </a>. Bertel Schmitt is a founding board member of the <a href="http://www.offshoresuperseries.com"> Offshore Super Series </a>, an American offshore powerboat racing organization. He is co-owner of the racing team Typhoon.

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  • Ohsnapback Ohsnapback on Sep 15, 2009

    These numbers and statistics are highly subject to rampant revisions. No one I know, no one they know, no one anywhere that is anything other than a government claptrap of Wall Street Cheerleader, period, tells me things are anything other than atrocious out there, and getting more atrocious. Wake me up whenever it is we actually see positive job growth and/or see people lucky enough to be employed make more, and not less. Here is a very recent article on precisely how bad things are out there, and why the risks of another crash remain so high: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/financetopics/recession/6190818/US-credit-shrinks-at-Great-Depression-rate-prompting-fears-of-double-dip-recession.html

  • Bertel Schmitt Bertel Schmitt on Sep 15, 2009

    Frau Puckrik: The German Abwrackpärmien-money ran out just in time for the elections (in a little more than a week.) Supposedly, Germany will be ok in September due to the make-to-order deliveries. Should go downhill in Oct. 2010 should be atrocious, compared to the steroids-driven 2009 .... B

  • Lichtronamo Watch as the non-us based automakers shift more production to Mexico in the future.
  • 28-Cars-Later " Electrek&nbsp;recently dug around in Tesla’s online parts catalog and found that the windshield costs a whopping $1,900 to replace.To be fair, that’s around what a Mercedes S-Class or Rivian windshield costs, but the Tesla’s glass is unique because of its shape. It’s also worth noting that most insurance plans have glass replacement options that can make the repair a low- or zero-cost issue.&nbsp;"Now I understand why my insurance is so high despite no claims for years and about 7,500 annual miles between three cars.
  • AMcA My theory is that that when the Big 3 gave away the store to the UAW in the last contract, there was a side deal in which the UAW promised to go after the non-organized transplant plants. Even the UAW understands that if the wage differential gets too high it's gonna kill the golden goose.
  • MKizzy Why else does range matter? Because in the EV advocate's dream scenario of a post-ICE future, the average multi-car household will find itself with more EVs in their garages and driveways than places to plug them in or the capacity to charge then all at once without significant electrical upgrades. Unless each vehicle has enough range to allow for multiple days without plugging in, fighting over charging access in multi-EV households will be right up there with finances for causes of domestic strife.
  • 28-Cars-Later WSJ blurb in Think or Swim:Workers at Volkswagen's Tennessee factory voted to join the United Auto Workers, marking a historic win for the 89- year-old union that is seeking to expand where it has struggled before, with foreign-owned factories in the South.The vote is a breakthrough for the UAW, whose membership has shrunk by about three-quarters since the 1970s, to less than 400,000 workers last year.UAW leaders have hitched their growth ambitions to organizing nonunion auto factories, many of which are in southern states where the Detroit-based labor group has failed several times and antiunion sentiment abounds."People are ready for change," said Kelcey Smith, 48, who has worked in the VW plant's paint shop for about a year, after leaving his job at an Amazon.com warehouse in town. "We look forward to making history and bringing change throughout the entire South."&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;...Start the clock on a Chattanooga shutdown.
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