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European new car market continues growth for over 12 months

By Kyle Lindsay
Friday, September 19, 2014 - 09:19

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JATO Dynamics analysis shows 12 months of continuous growth in the European new car market

The analysis shows the Spanish new car market continued to benefit from government incentive schemes, resulting in an increase of 23.0% on sales compared to August of last year. This was the best performance among the ‘big 5’ markets, although Great Britain also increased sales by an impressive 9.4%. France
(-2.6%) and Germany (-0.4%) were down and sales in Italy remained flat. All five markets have grown year-to-date, with Spain again the leader with growth of 18.0%.

Volkswagen and Ford both enjoyed growth of over 14% to take first and second place respectively in units sold in August. Skoda remained in the top 10 brands for the second month in a row after recording an increase of 21.5%, making it the only other brand in the top 10 to reach double-digit growth for the month. Toyota remains just outside of the top 10 due to a fall in sales of 5.8% for the month. All bar one of the 20 top-selling brands have posted increases in year-to-date sales.

Strong sales of Mitsubishi’s new Plug-In Hybrid version of the Outlander in Great Britain and the Netherlands helped the brand improve its sales by 61.0% in August, for a year-to-date gain of 26.4%. Jeep’s new Cherokee helped the brand increase sales by 46.6% in August, while Porsche’s new Macan led to growth of 42.9%. Chevrolet’s sales have decreased by 93.2% year-on-year as the brand’s withdrawal from the European market draws near.

Increased sales of the Volkswagen Polo (up 14.0%), as a result of the new ‘facelift’ models reaching the showrooms, made it a Volkswagen ‘one-two’ at the top of the make and models top 10. August was another good month for the Golf, with Europe’s best-selling car recording growth of 20.1% year-on-year. Sales of the Passat were up by 21.2% compared to August 2013, giving Volkswagen a third model in the top 10.

Ford’s Fiesta (+10.7%) and Focus (+25.3%) were also among the best performers in the top 10 during August. The Skoda Octavia’s sales grew by 22.7% year-on-year to help the brand maintain its progress since the turn of the year. The Renault Clio remained in third place despite a drop in sales of 2.5% due to tough market conditions in France and the Netherlands. Audi’s A3 saw the largest fall in monthly sales of the top 10 models, down 6.8%.

Top 10 Models

Make & Model Aug_14 Aug_13 % change Aug Aug YtD_14 Aug YtD_13 % change YtD
VOLKSWAGEN GOLF 32,456 27,030 +20.1% 344,970 301,985 +14.2%
VOLKSWAGEN POLO 16,033 14,058 +14.0% 179,143 180,066 -0.5%
RENAULT CLIO 14,573 14,947 -2.5% 201,195 190,898 +5.4%
FORD FIESTA 13,626 12,310 +10.7% 205,464 188,536 +9.0%
OPEL/VAUXHALL CORSA 13,247 11,498 +15.2% 166,977 160,366 +4.1%
SKODA OCTAVIA 12,453 10,149 +22.7% 136,820 98,152 +39.4%
FORD FOCUS 12,280 9,798 +25.3% 151,629 151,591 +0.0%
AUDI A3 11,288 12,112 -6.8% 134,063 107,060 +25.2%
PEUGEOT 208 11,018 11,658 -5.5% 147,657 167,242 -11.7%
VOLKSWAGEN PASSAT 10,036 8,279 +21.2% 104,525 104,627 -0.1%

Brian Walters, Vice President of Data at JATO Dynamics, commented: “We are delighted to reveal that we have now seen 12 consecutive months of growth in new car sales in Europe. Although August is traditionally a slower month, this did not prevent brands like Volkswagen, Ford and Skoda from continuing to grow their sales and market share. With many of the recently-introduced models performing well and a significant number of product announcements in the pipeline for the autumn, the market looks set to end the year in similarly good health.”

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