Europe In August 2012: Downturn Accelerates

Bertel Schmitt
by Bertel Schmitt
europe in august 2012 downturn accelerates

The European car market accelerates its race to the bottom. Back from a long vacation, the European car manufacturers association ACEA reports that the EU car market was down 8.9 percent in August, after having dropped 7.8 percent in July. Eight months into the year, European car sales are down 7.1 percent as Europeans registered 8,268,642 new cars so far.

New Car Sales EU, August 2012AugustAugust% ChgJan – AugJan – Aug% Chg’12’1112/11’12’1112/11AUSTRIA24,57025,884-5.1239,796242,784-1.2BELGIUM31,25637,788-17.3353,073399,119-11.5BULGARIA1,5191,644-7.612,90512,636+2.1CYPRUS743946-21.58,19010,023-18.3CZECH REPUBLIC13,19314,105-6.5118,584114,507+3.6DENMARK13,56412,507+8.5114,565113,381+1.0ESTONIA1,4231,312+8.511,8729,988+18.9FINLAND7,53510,024-24.880,91889,998-10.1FRANCE96,067108,462-11.41,293,9731,493,745-13.4GERMANY226,455237,561-4.72,108,7162,121,047-0.6GREECE3,8867,297-46.742,07272,513-42.0HUNGARY3,5393,428+3.235,79930,315+18.1IRELAND3,0983,238-4.374,15884,396-12.1ITALY56,44770,764-20.2981,0301,224,096-19.9LATVIA894856+4.47,2516,851+5.8LITHUANIA9571,064-10.18,2108,759-6.3LUXEMBURG2,8993,018-3.935,75036,143-1.1NETHERLANDS33,21139,062-15.0396,101409,500-3.3POLAND18,08819,597-7.7188,178181,408+3.7PORTUGAL5,4438,131-33.168,103114,259-40.4ROMANIA5,0448,747-42.344,39249,006-9.4SLOVAKIA5,9475,190+14.646,51544,956+3.5SLOVENIA3,0724,170-26.335,50441,855-15.2SPAIN48,82047,223+3.4520,216568,349-8.5SWEDEN21,06524,368-13.6181,774201,031-9.6UNITED KINGDOM59,43359,346+0.11,260,9971,220,618+3.3EUROPEAN UNION688,168755,732-8.98,268,6428,901,283-7.1

In August, the gap between north and south widened. The UK eked out a small 0.1 percent gain, Germany saw its sales contract by 4.7 percent, while France (-11.4 percent) and Italy (-20.2 percent) faced double-digit downturns. The Spanish market expanded by 3.4, which will turn out as a flash in the pan. Spain increased its VAT in September, which resulted in a small August rush on car dealerships. The revenge will come this month. In the first two weeks of September, car sales in Spain were down 28 percent.

New Car Sales EU, August 2012AugustJan-Aug %Share %ShareUnitsUnits% Chg% Chg’12’11’12’1112/11+0.0ALL BRANDS**688,168755,732-8.9-7.1VW Group28.225.3194,063191,530+1.3-0.1VOLKSWAGEN14.513.699,661102,841-3.1-2.4AUDI6.45.544,27141,526+6.6+5.2SEAT2.62.417,89218,271-2.1-16.2SKODA4.33.829,89028,790+3.8+0.8Others (1)0.30.02,349102+2202.9+2433.8PSA Group11.411.978,51290,233-13.0-13.5PEUGEOT6.56.444,52648,617-8.4-14.6CITROEN4.95.533,98641,616-18.3-12.2RENAULT Group8.89.260,43869,363-12.9-16.3RENAULT6.27.142,34653,765-21.2-19.8DACIA2.62.118,09215,598+16.0-1.3GM Group7.68.452,13563,453-17.8-11.9OPEL/VAUXHALL6.26.942,38752,239-18.9-15.4CHEVROLET1.41.59,73811,183-12.9+7.5GM (US)0.00.01031-67.7-35.2FORD6.07.741,53658,403-28.9-12.3FIAT Group5.35.936,42244,541-18.2-17.1FIAT4.04.327,23132,303-15.7-17.2LANCIA/CHRYSLER0.50.63,6344,884-25.6-4.2ALFA ROMEO0.60.73,8415,649-32.0-31.2JEEP0.20.21,4971,469+1.9+24.6Others (2)0.00.0219236-7.2-41.2BMW Group5.96.240,63447,000-13.5-3.1BMW4.95.133,91238,743-12.5-3.0MINI1.01.16,7228,257-18.6-3.8DAIMLER5.55.137,71138,214-1.3-2.7MERCEDES5.04.634,17634,416-0.7-1.4SMART0.50.53,5353,798-6.9-11.6TOYOTA Group4.34.229,55031,454-6.1-1.0TOYOTA4.13.928,30129,747-4.9-1.6LEXUS0.20.21,2491,707-26.8+12.5NISSAN3.23.021,74822,920-5.1-4.3HYUNDAI3.73.525,31726,085-2.9+10.1KIA3.02.420,30818,077+12.3+23.1VOLVO CAR CORP.1.31.49,09110,756-15.5-11.6SUZUKI1.41.39,4219,858-4.4-10.8HONDA1.10.97,9056,596+19.8-5.8MAZDA1.01.06,7497,537-10.5-10.9JAGUAR LAND ROVER Group0.60.33,8492,601+48.0+35.5LAND ROVER0.50.23,2561,883+73.0+44.6JAGUAR0.10.1593718-17.4+6.4MITSUBISHI0.60.94,3776,441-32.0-33.4OTHER**1.21.48,40210,670-21.3-18.0

On a manufacturer level, the Volkswagen Group holds its own with European sales up 1.3 percent in August and down only 0.1 percent for the first eight months. For the first time, the Volkswagen count also contains Porsche, in the “others” column together with Bentley, Bugatti and Lamborghini.

Sales of Ford were down drastically by 28.9 percent in August. GM is down 17.8 percent. The Fiat Group is down 18.2 percent. The two French makers slowed their descent in August.

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2 of 3 comments
  • Oldyak Oldyak on Sep 18, 2012

    The Europeans need some good old sub prime lending like here in the U.S. to get the cars off the lots!

  • Bd2 Bd2 on Sep 18, 2012

    What? No big blaring headline about how Ford Europe sales have seen the biggest drop in sales YTD out of the main players?

  • KOKing I'm in an emissions check only state, and I'd trade that away for a safety check all day.
  • Bd2 The hybrid powertrain in the Sportage and Tucson are the ones to get.H/K should discontinue the base NA 2.5L powertrain and just build more of the hybrid.In the future, maybe offer a 2nd, more powerful hybrid (the hybrid 2.5) which will first arrive with the next Telluride/Palisade.Kia also needs to redo the front fascia for the Sportage's refresh.
  • The Oracle I say let the clunkers stay on the roads.
  • Jpolicke Twenty-three grand for a basket case? And it has '66 wheel covers and gas cap so who knows what else isn't original?
  • Scott Can't be a real 1965 Stang as all of those are nothing but a pile of rust that MIGHT be car shaped by now.