2011 New Car Sales Around The World: Divided Europe

Bertel Schmitt
by Bertel Schmitt
2011 new car sales around the world divided europe

Allegedly a basket case, Europe finished the year without major losses, at least as far as new car sales go. 13.1 million cars were registered in the EU last year for aslight 1.74 percent loss compared to 2010. That according to data released today by the European auto manufacturer’s association ACEA. If the common market EU would count as one common car market, then Europe would rank second, after China with 18.5 million, and before the U.S.A. with 12.8 million (excl. heavy trucks & buses.) But fear not, the EU does not count as one market, at least not as far as heavy metal is concerned.

Basically, new car sales in Europe have been going sideways for decades. (Forget the irritating red percentage change line. Look at the bars.) The downward tenor since 2007 is more a reflection of ageing and shrinking populations in Europe’s volume markets than a result of booms or busts. Europe as a whole does not have the wild swings of the U.S., where many people have three cars, or of China, where most people still don’t have a car. Europe is filled with capable carmakers who defend their territory with tooth and nails.

(Note to the crowd that likes to blame miserable sales elsewhere on secret import restrictions: The “non-EU” brands – no matter where the cars are made – have a share of 16.6 percent of the European market. It’s been like this as long as I can remember.)

New car registrations 2011, EU 27Jan – DecJan – Dec% Chg1110GERMANY3,173,6342,916,2608.83%FRANCE2,204,2292,251,669-2.11%UNITED KINGDOM1,941,2532,030,846-4.41%ITALY1,748,1431,961,579-10.88%SPAIN808,059982,015-17.71%BELGIUM572,211547,3474.54%NETHERLANDS556,123482,54415.25%AUSTRIA356,145328,5638.39%SWEDEN304,984289,6845.28%POLAND277,430315,858-12.17%CZECH REPUBLIC173,282169,2362.39%DENMARK168,707153,8589.65%PORTUGAL153,433223,464-31.34%FINLAND126,123111,98912.62%GREECE97,682141,499-30.97%IRELAND89,89688,4461.64%ROMANIA81,71994,541-13.56%SLOVAKIA68,20364,0336.51%SLOVENIA58,41759,226-1.37%LUXEMBURG49,88149,7260.31%HUNGARY45,09743,4793.72%BULGARIA19,13615,64622.31%ESTONIA15,3508,84873.49%LITHUANIA13,2237,97065.91%LATVIA8,8494,97677.83%EUROPEAN UNION (EU27)13,111,20913,343,302-1.74%EU1512,350,50312,559,489-1.66%EU10760,706783,813-2.95%ICELAND5,0383,10662.20%NORWAY138,345127,7548.29%SWITZERLAND318,958294,2398.40%EFTA462,341425,0998.76%EU27+EFTA13,573,55013,768,401-1.42%EU15+EFTA12,812,84412,984,588-1.32%

More than 80 percent of all EU sales are generated in a special part of Europe called “the volume countries” in the EU car biz. The volume countries are Germany, France, the UK, Spain, and Benelux. What happens here shapes the market. You see nearly 9 percent growth in Germany, single digit losses in France and the UK, double digit losses in Italy and Spain.

New car registrations 2011, EU 27 by manufacturer group January – December %ShareUnitsUnits% Chg11101110ALL BRANDS**13,111,20913,343,302-1.7VW Group23.221.23,045,0002,832,799+7.5VOLKSWAGEN12.411.21,622,0451,491,421+8.8AUDI5.04.5654,337600,120+9.0SEAT2.32.2297,416294,292+1.1SKODA3.63.3469,221445,163+5.4Others (1)0.00.01,9811,803+9.9PSA Group12.513.51,643,1601,805,375-9.0PEUGEOT6.87.4889,073983,969-9.6CITROEN5.86.2754,087821,406-8.2RENAULT Group9.710.41,272,5601,389,340-8.4RENAULT7.88.51,026,1791,130,124-9.2DACIA1.91.9246,381259,216-5.0GM Group8.78.71,141,3801,164,111-2.0OPEL/VAUXHALL7.47.4968,728986,948-1.8CHEVROLET1.31.3172,212176,093-2.2GM (US)0.00.04401,070-58.9FORD8.08.11,046,7111,081,778-3.2FIAT Group7.17.9928,3901,056,399-12.1FIAT5.16.1671,131811,774-17.3LANCIA/CHRYSLER0.80.8102,099108,432-5.8ALFA ROMEO1.00.8125,794105,663+19.1JEEP0.20.122,17713,663+62.3Others (2)0.10.17,18916,867-57.4BMW Group6.05.4780,981726,040+7.6BMW4.74.4617,906588,816+4.9MINI1.21.0163,075137,224+18.8DAIMLER5.04.9652,790651,515+0.2MERCEDES4.44.3575,243570,884+0.8SMART0.60.677,54780,631-3.8TOYOTA Group4.04.2523,418559,251-6.4TOYOTA3.84.1497,928542,677-8.2LEXUS0.20.125,49016,574+53.8NISSAN3.42.9443,300390,403+13.5HYUNDAI2.92.6382,255346,310+10.4KIA2.21.9286,792257,923+11.2VOLVO CAR CORP.1.81.6234,613213,324+10.0SUZUKI1.31.4166,535184,597-9.8HONDA1.11.3141,705177,453-20.1MAZDA1.01.3128,238172,042-25.5MITSUBISHI0.80.7101,13898,065+3.1JAGUAR LAND ROVER0.70.795,22591,863+3.7LAND ROVER0.60.572,63465,468+10.9JAGUAR0.20.222,59126,395-14.4OTHER**0.71.197,017144,714-33.0

No breathtaking changes on the manufacturer front. Volkswagen continues to grow. It gained 2 percent more market share. No other carmaker gained (or lost) that much of the European market. Hyundai & Kia grow steadily. Nissan is the Japanese surprise.

Imported cars from the U.S. are unsalable: GM had imported 1070 U.S. cars in 2010 . That dropped to 440 in 2011. The 172,000 “Chevrolets” come from Korea.

If you give the data a good read, then you will see a divided Europe. Northern and most of Eastern Europe are doing just fine, thank you. Vacation lands Italy, Spain, Portugal, Greece are hard hit.

OIf there is so much bleeding, why is there so much foot-dragging about saving the Euro? The low Euro powers the export machine in the north. The stellar earnings of Volkswagen, Daimler, BMW et al are driven by strong exports and strong sales in foreign markets. The weaker the Euro, the better for them.

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5 of 7 comments
  • JJ JJ on Jan 17, 2012

    Figures in the Netherlands are up, but unfortunately it doesn't tell the complete story. A lot of the cars sold are due to government regulations to promote the sale of eco-boxes and discourage the sale of actual cars. They do this mostly by taxing regular cars into oblivion instead of subsidies on smaller, economical cars. The breakdown of the mos popular car models is as follows: VW Polo (B-segment car) Renault Twingo (A-segment) Peugeot 107 (A) Toyoa Aygo (A) Opel Corsa (B) SEAT Ibiza (B) VW Golf (C) Ford Fiesta (B) Opel Astra (C) Citroen C1 (A) It used to be the C-segment cars that made the volume but even those are deemed to big by our government now for Jan Modaal (Joe Average). In fact the first D-segment car is the VW Passat in P16 and I bet even those are mostly 1.6TDI Bluemotions. It's a sad state of affairs for the car enthusiast here...It has been for a long time (ever since 1978 when BPM was introduced really) but it's getting worse and worse...It's getting to the point where it's a real reason to leave the country.

    • See 1 previous
    • JJ JJ on Jan 17, 2012

      @herb Well it's quite complicated but basically how it works is there's a tax scheme based on the amount of CO2 a car emits per kilometer that's partly weighed against the car's size. For every gram over an arbitrary boundary set by the state you pay a certain amount of tax when purchasing a car. Moreover, there's a progressive rate, so the grams get more expensive and more expensive over certain arbitrary thresholds set by the state. Then apart from this there's still a fixed tax of 27% of the bruto value of the car, and of course the 19% VAT. The 27% used to be 45,2% (BPM) but as this tax is actually deemed illegal by the EU it was originally meant to be replaced completely by CO2 tax however in the end that didn't quite happen. To make it more complicated still, people with corporate lease cars need to add either 14, 20 or 25% of the net value of the car (based on CO2 emission) they're leasing to their income statement for taxation every year (cause they enjoy personal benefit from private use of a car without paying all the taxes that would normally apply to them since businesses don't have to pay the VAT). It's pretty much another typical socialist burocratic mess and it means the nice cars are out of the question. To illustrate; an M3 MT is 129.000 euros these days, while a 335i is 62.000. The difference is all CO2 tax. The M3 DKG is actually almost 11K CHEAPER than the MT here, because the tax you save by the better fuel economy far outweighs the extra cost of the DKG. Oh...and fuel is still the highest in Europe (1.75 Euro/liter) and there's also an ownership tax based on the weight of the car. The communism Marx and Co had in mind lives right here in the Netherlands...and I think we're close to the point where it's really going to cost us badly (natural gas reserve is drying up...). Luckily for the first time in a 100 years we now have a 'right-wing' mp, but sadly what we call right wing here is what a US democrat would call a socialist (and also sadly, they've had to make a government with a party that bas some racist undertones but that's another story).

  • Jpolicke Jpolicke on Jan 17, 2012

    Wow, what's up in Iceland? Did they lose that many cars to the volcano, or is everyone going on a binge?

    • JJ JJ on Jan 17, 2012

      300K people live there and they're all broke. There were a few icelandic banks that grew rediculously large compared to their economy that went belly up, so things aren't going to well up there. IIRC, alcoholic beverages are insanely expensive in Iceland so I doubt they're going on a bender, unless it's on moonshine or you mean something else.

  • Dusterdude The "fire them all" is looking a little less unreasonable the longer the union sticks to the totally ridiculous demands ( or maybe the members should fire theit leadership ! )
  • Thehyundaigarage Yes, Canadian market vehicles have had immobilizers mandated by transport Canada since around 2001.In the US market, some key start Toyotas and Nissans still don’t have immobilizers. The US doesn’t mandate immobilizers or daytime running lights, but they mandate TPMS, yet canada mandates both, but couldn’t care less about TPMS. You’d think we’d have universal standards in North America.
  • Alan I think this vehicle is aimed more at the dedicated offroad traveller. It costs around the same a 300 Series, so its quite an investment. It would be a waste to own as a daily driver, unless you want to be seen in a 'wank' vehicle like many Wrangler and Can Hardly Davidson types.The diesel would be the choice for off roading as its quite torquey down low and would return far superior mileage than a petrol vehicle.I would think this is more reliable than the Land Rovers, BMW make good engines. https://www.drive.com.au/reviews/2023-ineos-grenadier-review/
  • Lorenzo I'll go with Stellantis. Last into the folly, first to bail out. Their European business won't fly with the German market being squeezed on electricity. Anybody can see the loss of Russian natural gas and closing their nuclear plants means high cost electricity. They're now buying electrons from French nuclear plants, as are the British after shutting down their coal industry. As for the American market, the American grid isn't in great shape either, but the US has shale oil and natural gas. Stellantis has profits from ICE Ram trucks and Jeeps, and they won't give that up.
  • Inside Looking Out Chinese will take over EV market and Tesla will become the richest and largest car company in the world. Forget about Japanese.