- The European new car market grew 2.7% in August
- Spain is the fastest growing ‘big 5’ market with a year-on-year sales increase of 23.0% last month
- Volkswagen and Ford both record double-digit growth for August
Sales growth of 2.7% in August compared to the same month last year marked a twelfth straight month of continuous growth in the European new car market, according to the latest analysis from JATO Dynamics, the world’s leading provider of automotive intelligence.
JATO’s headline market analysis:
- The continued recovery in Europe was boosted by significant double-digit growth in a number of mid-sized markets, including Greece, Ireland and Portugal
- Volkswagen had three models within the top 10, with the Golf and Polo achieving first and second spot respectively
- Replacement models such as the Nissan Note, BMW X5 and Mazda3 proved popular, increasing sales over their predecessors in August
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%.
Many of the smaller markets saw positive growth and Greece (+33.6%), Ireland (31.8%) and Portugal (+35.7%) continued to show significant improvements. A number of Eastern European markets also performed strongly in August including Czech Republic (+20.2%), Slovakia (+21.2%), Latvia (+22.5%) and Lithuania (+16.4%). Of the 29 countries studied, 24 have increased their year-to-date sales.
European Monthly Sales Volumes Year-on-Year Comparison
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.
August was a good month for medium-volume brands. Mazda continued its year of positive growth with 15.8% year-on-year growth in August and a year-to-date increase in sales of 20.9%. Volvo also boosted sales in August by 14.6% to take its year-to-date growth to 10.4%.
Top 10 Brands
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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%.
The strength of Europe’s recovery was illustrated by the rate at which some ‘facelift’ models increased sales over their predecessors from a year ago. These included the Nissan Note, the BMW X5 and the Mazda3. Small crossover models, led by the Renault Captur (10.0%), the Opel/Vauxhall Mokka (+44.5%) and the Peugeot 2008 (+67.7%), also continued to perform well.
Top 10 Models
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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.”
Sales by Market
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NOTE: *denotes estimated data included for Aug ‘14
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