By on January 15, 2010

European passenger car registrations 2009. Picture courtesy

Europe avoided the worst of carmageddon. While the U.S.A. was down 21.2 percent in 2009 and China was up 45 percent, Europe as a whole ended 2009 with the same sales as in 2008, more or less. According to data released by ACEA, the European Union survived 2009 with a slight drop of 1.6 percent.

Numbers were dragged down by miserable results in most of the new member states, which show a loss of 26 percent. Only three countries in the east show a plus: The Czech Republic with 12.5 percent, Slovakia up 6.7 percent, and Poland skidding by with 0.1 percent growth. Basket cases of the East are the Baltic States: Latvia down a whopping 80.5 percent, Lithuania down 67.4 percent and Estonia down 66.2 percent for 2009.

The “old” member states in the West actually managed a slight plus of 0.9 percent, driven mainly by Abwrackprämien-powered Germany (+23.2 percent) and similarly generous France (+ 12.5 percent.) Western basked cases are Ireland (-62.1 percent,) followed by Finland (-35.2 percent) and Denmark (-25.3 percent.)

European new car registrations had picked up in the second half of last year, largely due to the impact of fleet renewal schemes in a number of major markets. In June 2009, Europe went into plus territory and steadily grew to a peak of +26.5 percent in November. December sales were a bit more subdued, with a growth of 16.6 percent compared to a very weak December of 2008.

If the EU would be counted as a common market, it would count as the world’s largest car market, with 14.3m sold, narrowly beating China (13.6m.) There is a case for that. The EU has (mostly) common borders, (mostly) one currency, and started as a common market after all. This year, it will be a moot point, as China will have bypassed even whole of Europe.

The complete report can be downloaded here as PDF, for the number crunchers, it is also available as Excel spreadsheet. Excel spreadsheet also includes interesting manufacturer data. Refer to TTAC’s roundup of 2009 sales data for a continuously updated roundup of 2009 sales data from around the world.

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9 Comments on “Europe In 2009: Avoided The Worst, Saved By Germany And France...”

  • avatar

    Clearly, if you control for or factor out socialist government vehicular purchase programs, things looked fairly grim for Europe in 2009. Not much better, or perhaps even similar to the US where our government vehicular purchase subsidy was not quite as generous.
    We had more bankers to support after all.

  • avatar

    Can you please cut out the tired and totally wrong socialist crap?  Definition of Socialism here. Definition of National Socialism here. Neither of them are en vogue in Germany, France or the many other countries that enacted “vehicular purchase programs.”

  • avatar

    I’m afraid I don’t understand your statement: “Clearly, if you control for or factor out socialist government vehicular purchase programs…”.
    Neither France nor Germany has a socialist government, and this post is how those two countries kept the industry’s head above water by having car scrapping programs. Just like the USA.
    This gratuitous “socialist” sobriquet has been bandied about on TTAC for years. Clearly, most people have no clue what socialism is. And I don’t mean a wiki or dictionary definition.

  • avatar

    17 million people in Germany know exactly what socialism was. They lived in East Germany.

  • avatar
    Telegraph Road

    Here we only want to refer to the UAW as socialist:

  • avatar

    European countries might not be socialist by the old standards (as in soviets, Cuba, Hugo C etc etc), but living in the Netherlands, one could make a case for most of the northern european welfare state countries as socialist in the original meaning of the word.
    Here in the Netherlands, the difference in living standards between making 70K (euro) or 35K is much much smaller than in the US due to income taxes, taxes on luxury goods like cars, elligibility for all kinds of subsidies for people who make less money etc etc. Also, private health care is basically tied down so bad it’s non-existent, meaning you have to go through the public health care system, meaning if you do something mundane like break a leg you’re good, but if you have some kind of individiual rare disease you’re screwed. Since you are not directly paying your doctor’s fees all your purchasing power you should have is voided.
    Also, government parties we’d call ‘right-wing’ usually have ideas comparable to US democrats, so even if governments aren’t left in name, they usually are in ideas.
    Obviously all of this works out fine for some people and not so good for others. I would love it to become a little more social and less socialistic though.

  • avatar

    So, if I read the spreadsheet correctly Germany sold 3.8 million cars and not 3.09 million as stated in the round up. Damn, that places Brazil below Germany (barring South Korea) as the 5th largest market. Ah well.

    But Mr. Scmitt, what do you think Germany’s numbers will look like in 2010 (without a scrappage plan)? Here in Brazil, according to who you talk to, forecasts are of an increase of 4% to 10% in 2010 over 2009. Though we all know just how “good” these prognoses are, I was wondering, could Brazil finally pass Germany in 2010?

    • 0 avatar

      FromBrazil: THANK YOU! You saved me from a major boo-boo. Not just Germany was wrong, all of Europe was. The data in the round-up had captured the wrong column and reflected 2008 numbers. Corrected. Hopefully right this time. Shame on me.

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