Europe In November: Up 27 Percent, But Still Down For The Year

Bertel Schmitt
by Bertel Schmitt

Picture courtesy

According to hot-off-the-presses data compiled by the European car manufacturers association ACEA, new car registrations in Europe rose by 26.6 percent in November 2009. This looks like a healthy pop, but caution is in order: November 2008 had suffered a drop of 25.8 percent. As mentioned before, comparisons with post-carmageddon results must be treated carefully. For the first 11 months of the year, Europe is still down by 2.8 percent, composed of -0.7 percent in Western Europe and -27.4 percent in the new EU Member States. All in all, normalcy is slowly coming back to Europe, with Western Europe having a newfound appetite for cars, while Eastern Europe is still hesitant when it comes to new wheels.

In November, 1.18m units were registered in Europe. For the first eleven months, Europeans bought 13.4m new cars, easily eclipsing the USA and even China. If Europe would be counted as one common market (and lest we forget, the EU started out as a common market…) the EU would handily best any other car market. Europe should close out the year with slightly below 15m cars sold, China will sell anywhere between 13m and 14m, the USA will be happy with around 11m.

In Western Europe, 1,116,845 new cars were registered in November, or 30.6 percent more than a year ago. Most markets expanded, with results ranging from +1 percent in Portugal to +57.6 percent in the UK. The increase was 48.3 percent in France, 37.3 percent in Spain, 31.2 percent in Italy and 19.7 percent in Germany. Eleven months into the year, the West European market remains stable (-0.7 percent) compared to the same period of 2008. Three countries posted growth for the first 11 months: France (+7.6 percent), Austria (+7.9 percent) and Germany (+25.4 percent).

In the new EU Member States, new registrations decreased by 16.7 percent in November. Only the Czech Republic (+31.5 percent) and Slovenia (+3.7 percent) registered growth.

Data can be downloaded as PDF, or, for your number crunching pleasure, as Excel spreadsheet.

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=""> Tomoko </a>. Bertel Schmitt is a founding board member of the <a href=""> Offshore Super Series </a>, an American offshore powerboat racing organization. He is co-owner of the racing team Typhoon.

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  • PeteMoran PeteMoran on Dec 15, 2009

    Interesting that Toyota increased their market share while VW's dropped. BMW and Daimler too. GM held steady - amazing! My information is the average transaction value of sales is well down suggesting smaller cars (or more conservative purchases). The number of kms travelled by European's in cars is down, while the scrapage volume is steady. That would suggest a shrinking market (I don't think it's a secret however).

    • Mdensch Mdensch on Dec 15, 2009

      Toyota's market share increased slightly for the month of November, year-to-date they are still down slightly and Volkswagen is up slightly. The clearest trend in the year-to-date figures is that premium brands are struggling.

  • Bertel Schmitt Bertel Schmitt on Dec 15, 2009

    If sales are down by 2.8 percent for the first 11 months of the year, then we have a slightly shrinking market overall. No suggestions necessary. The trend in Europe is definitely towards smaller and cheaper cars.

    • Steven02 Steven02 on Dec 15, 2009

      I can see Hyundai and Kia doing well here. They sell very cheap cars.

  • Kwik_Shift_Pro4X Union fees and corruption. What can go wrong?
  • Lou_BC How about one of those 2 foot wide horizontal speedometers out of the late 60's Ford Galaxie?
  • Lou_BC Was he at GM for 47 years or an engineer for 47 years?
  • Ajla The VW vote that was held today heavily favored unionization (75/25). That's a very large victory for the UAW considering such a vote has failed two other times this decade at that plant.
  • The Oracle Just advertise ICE vehicles by range instead of MPG and let the market decide.