European Car Sales, November 2010: Slowly Crawling Back To Normal

Bertel Schmitt
by Bertel Schmitt

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.

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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  • Kars This article was about Ford not Tesla - you are clearly confused.
  • Ollicat Those are individual charging stations vs entire gas stations that have 8 - 16 pumps. And gas stations take 3 minutes to fill vs 30 min to hours for a charging station. And gas pumps are much more likely to be working vs charging statins. Nice try with more propaganda though.
  • Richard Poore Sure, as the article itself notes (hence my ire) California has mandated that all new vehicles sold in state be EV by 2035. They require EV or hybrid by 2026. Since the author admits to this mandate it seems that the article title is clickbait... was really hoping that there was some sort of changes in the CA position since the state is sorely behind on where they need to be with charging stations for this sort of requirement.
  • VoGhost When will Audi eliminate the fake, oversized grills that impede aerodynamics?