By on May 16, 2012

Listening to the news from Europe, one thinks that there is chaos in the streets of Europe. Not yet. But Europeans are clearing room for chaos by buying fewer cars. 1,017,912 new passenger cars were registered in the EU, or 6.9 percent less than in the same month of 2011. Four months into the year, new registrations in the EU were 7.5 percent lower than a year earlier, the European manufacturers association ACEA reports.  

April April % Chg
’12 ’11 12/11
FINLAND 4,052 11,406 -64.5
GREECE 4,409 10,192 -56.7
PORTUGAL 8,400 14,418 -41.7
DENMARK 9,065 13,437 -32.5
IRELAND 6,770 8,685 -22.0
SPAIN 56,250 71,805 -21.7
SWEDEN 23,336 28,940 -19.4
ITALY 129,663 158,113 -18.0
CYPRUS 1,168 1,390 -16.0
ROMANIA 4,307 4,999 -13.8
NETHERLANDS 41,178 47,635 -13.6
SLOVENIA 4,362 5,007 -12.9
BELGIUM 48,326 53,300 -9.3
LITHUANIA 1,063 1,164 -8.7
BULGARIA 1,500 1,584 -5.3
FRANCE 166,552 169,757 -1.9
AUSTRIA 32,728 33,317 -1.8
SLOVAKIA 5,794 5,675 +2.1
LUXEMBURG 5,373 5,221 +2.9
GERMANY 274,066 266,251 +2.9
UNITED KINGDOM 142,322 137,746 +3.3
LATVIA 884 845 +4.6
POLAND 23,904 22,399 +6.7
CZECH REPUBLIC 16,589 14,620 +13.5
ESTONIA 1,566 1,356 +15.5
HUNGARY 4,285 3,701 +15.8
EUROPEAN UNION (EU27)* 1,017,912 1,092,963 -6.9

The UK (+3.3 percent) and Germany (+2.9 percent) were the only major markets to post growth. Sales in France contracted by 1.9 percent. Mediterranean Italy was down 18.0 percent, Spain 21.7 percent.

Not surprisingly, Greece was down-56 percent, Portugal  lost 41 percent. Surprisingly, people in Finland went on a partial buyers strike (- 64.5 percent.)

April
    %Share Units Units % Chg
’12 ’11 ’12 ’11 12/11
ALL BRANDS** 1,017,912 1,092,963 -6.9
VW Group 24.6 24.3 250,023 265,524 -5.8
VOLKSWAGEN 13.0 13.2 131,885 144,781 -8.9
AUDI 5.8 5.2 58,848 56,620 +3.9
SEAT 2.0 2.4 19,903 25,992 -23.4
SKODA 3.8 3.5 39,170 37,924 +3.3
Others (1) 0.0 0.0 217 207 +4.8
PSA Group 12.7 11.8 129,576 129,380 +0.2
PEUGEOT 6.8 6.6 69,421 71,970 -3.5
CITROEN 5.9 5.3 60,155 57,410 +4.8
RENAULT Group 8.6 9.5 88,015 103,682 -15.1
RENAULT 6.7 7.6 68,657 83,387 -17.7
DACIA 1.9 1.9 19,358 20,295 -4.6
GM Group 8.2 8.6 83,755 93,989 -10.9
OPEL/VAUXHALL 6.5 7.3 66,160 79,629 -16.9
CHEVROLET 1.7 1.3 17,574 14,339 +22.6
GM (US) 0.0 0.0 21 21 +0.0
FORD 7.6 7.7 76,921 84,155 -8.6
FIAT Group 7.3 7.6 73,906 83,491 -11.5
FIAT 5.3 5.5 53,703 60,339 -11.0
LANCIA/CHRYSLER 0.9 0.8 9,239 8,581 +7.7
ALFA ROMEO 0.8 1.1 8,436 12,249 -31.1
JEEP 0.2 0.1 2,089 1,639 +27.5
Others (2) 0.0 0.1 439 683 -35.7
BMW Group 6.5 5.9 65,681 63,989 +2.6
BMW 5.3 4.7 53,442 51,697 +3.4
MINI 1.2 1.1 12,239 12,292 -0.4
DAIMLER 5.4 5.0 54,525 54,473 +0.1
MERCEDES 4.7 4.3 47,774 47,436 +0.7
SMART 0.7 0.6 6,751 7,037 -4.1
TOYOTA Group 3.8 4.1 38,324 44,758 -14.4
TOYOTA 3.6 3.8 36,468 41,722 -12.6
LEXUS 0.2 0.3 1,856 3,036 -38.9
NISSAN 2.8 3.3 28,632 35,779 -20.0
HYUNDAI 3.4 3.1 34,405 34,302 +0.3
KIA 2.7 2.1 27,517 23,096 +19.1
VOLVO CAR CORP. 1.8 1.9 18,667 20,500 -8.9
SUZUKI 1.1 1.3 11,154 14,355 -22.3
MAZDA 0.9 0.9 8,707 9,613 -9.4
MITSUBISHI 0.6 0.9 5,831 9,346 -37.6
JLR Group 0.7 0.5 7,486 5,792 +29.3
LAND ROVER 0.6 0.4 5,978 4,637 +28.9
JAGUAR 0.1 0.1 1,508 1,155 +30.6
HONDA 1.0 0.9 9,741 9,515 +2.4
OTHER** 0.5 0.7 5,046 7,224 -30.2

On the OEM front, Volkswagen shows the expected first symptoms of EU weakness. In Apri, the Volkswagen Group is down 5.8 percent in Europe. Many automakers, notably Renault, GM, and Fiat show double digit losses in April.  Losing less than others, VW gained further market share.

Get the latest TTAC e-Newsletter!

4 Comments on “Europe In April 2012: Car Sales Down 6.9 Percent...”


  • avatar
    tparkit

    “…one thinks that there is chaos in the streets of Europe. Not yet.”

    Not yet, but we are going to get there. Here’s a new report on the collapsing real estate market in China:

    http://globaleconomicanalysis.blogspot.ca/2012/05/real-estate-crash-in-china-underway.html

    It’s one thing to be in economic trouble, as Japan has been for the past two decades, when the rest of the world is still growing. It’s quite another to be sinking when the rest of the planet is too. The era of using public-debt-fuelled spending to buy social and political peace is over.

    No one knows what this new world is going to look like, but a pretty good bet would be that it’s not going to involve people buying new cars whenever they please. And when they do buy, it will be smaller and cheaper (i.e. the unit count will hold up better than the revenue-per-vehicle figure.)

  • avatar
    mike978

    In previous Europe sales result posts Bertel usually mentions market share losses (especially for Opel and FIAT). I note this time very little said about that. Interestingly Toyota lost as much market share (in absolute terms) as FIAT even though they started from a smaller base. Honda grew a little and Nissan/Renault had a terrible time. I am also surprised by PSA’s strong result – they are usually another who does badly.

  • avatar
    Tstag

    So Ford is down by 8 percent and JLR is up by almost 30 percent. Ford Europe barely makes a profit, JLR profits top a billion pounds a year now. And Ford was right to sell?

    JLR is the tiger car maker of the premium sector these days how many (apart from me) predicted that when Ford sold up?

  • avatar
    th009

    The numbers for Finland should be no surprise after the buying spree in March (https://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/04/europe-in-march-2012-car-nage/) and the taxation change in April. March+April is still up 30% over 2011, and numbers will likely stabilize in a few months’ time.

Read all comments

Recent Comments

  • Ol Shel: Bah! Kids these days! They don’t even like being jerked around by sleazy car dealers! What is this...
  • dal20402: I think he would rather be making deliveries to his buddy Vladimir Vladimirovich in Moscow.
  • mor2bz: I wish I could agree with you but I do not. Musk claims that incessant badmouthing of his company would be...
  • EBFlex: “ The same batch of people will whine about “defunding” and in the same breath complain about the...
  • Jeff S: @FreedMike–True that could change as interest rates become higher and supply of new vehicles increases...

New Car Research

Get a Free Dealer Quote

Who We Are

  • Adam Tonge
  • Bozi Tatarevic
  • Corey Lewis
  • Jo Borras
  • Mark Baruth
  • Ronnie Schreiber