By on December 15, 2010

With the effects of the various scrapping incentives across Europe slowly working themselves out of the system, the worst appears to be over in Europe. According to the official numbers of the ACEA, registrations of new cars across the EU27 fell by 7.1 percent to 1,069,268 units in November. However, this November is above the 904,577 units sold in November 2008. From January to November, a total of 12,349,743 new cars were registered, or 5.7 percent less than over the same period of 2009. All in all, Europe seems to have weathered the carpocalypse much better than the New Country.

In the first 11 months of 2007, Europeans had bought 14.4 million cars, in the first 11 months of 2008 13.4 million, in the first 11 months of 2009 13.1 million, in the first 11 months of 2010 12.3 million. The trend is down, but far removed from the seismic shock that shattered the U.S. in 2009 and that still rattles the windows in 2010. Also, exports from the major car producing countries of Europe, especially from Germany, are more than compensating for the losses. Sure, the various scrapping schemes removed millions of perfectly serviceable cars from the roads, but the pull-forward effects were much less than often predicted. Simple reason: In Europe, most owners of older cars usually buy used. New car buyers cars usually trade in after 3 to 4 years

Looking at absolute market share always makes more sense than comparisons with distorted prior year numbers. Volkswagen remains the unassailable leader, they actually extended their lead a bit to 21.3 percent for the first 11 months of 2010. Biggest market share gainers in the first 11 months are Renault (up a full point) and BMW (up 0.6). The biggest market share losers in the first 11 months were the two f-words in the industry: Ford lost 0.7 percent market share, Fiat lost a whopping 1.1 points on the scale. In possession of advance notice of the ACEA numbers, the Ford PR department could have shown a bit more restraint with their glowing press release of yesterday. Seen through the official eyes of the ACEA, the Ford numbers are less than flattering: A loss of 15.4 percent in November in the EU27. For the first 11 months, Ford is down 13 percent. They can find solace in the fact that Fiat (-23.8 percent in November, -17.2 percent for the first 11 months), and Toyota (-21.8 percent in November, -18 percent for the first 11 months) are doing worse.

All the data you can eat here as PDF, and here as Excel for your number crunching pleasure.

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