European car sales fall again in November

17 December 2018

17 December 2018

Passenger car sales across Europe declined during November, as the market continues to fluctuate following the introduction of WLTP.

Last month, sales of new vehicles dropped by 8%, marking the third consecutive month of decline, according to new figures released by the European Automobile Manufacturers Association (ACEA). Since a 31% spike in sales during August, as manufacturers rushed to pre-register or discount vehicles ahead of the introduction of WLTP.

All five of Europe’s biggest markets posted sales losses last month. Spain posted the biggest drop, with sales declining by 12.6%. Germany saw a fall of 9.9%, followed by Italy with a 6.3% fall, then France with a 4.7% decrease. The UK was the best performing market for the big five, with a drop of just 3%.

Eleven months into the year, registrations of new passenger vehicles have dropped in Europe by 0.8%, compared to a year ago. Demand has been fuelled by central Europe, where registrations have grown by 9.6% so far this year.

However, in the big five markets, there are mixed results. Spain has grown by 8% year-to-date, while France has also increased its sales by 4.7%. Germany has seen a modest increase of 0.4%, while Italy has fallen 3.5%, and the UK continues to struggle, with registrations dropping 6.9% this year.

Manufacturer update

Volkswagen continues to lead the market in Europe as the year draws to a close. However, the manufacturer has also been hit hard by the implementation of WLTP, announcing back in August that many of its models, including the popular Golf, were not ready for sale under the new rules. The company started to supply vehicles again from the end of September but is still suffering from its problems earlier in the year. In November, sales were down 10.9% across the group, with Audi recording a drop of 40.4%. Year-to-date, the German carmaker is 1.6% up on its sales from the first eleven months of 2017.

PSA Group continues to hold second place in the European market, although it also saw a drop, 5.8% down in November. The company is 36.6% up on last year overall. Fellow French carmaker Renault, which has seen turbulent times recently in its alliance with Nissan and Mitsubishi, saw a decline of 16% and is just 2.5% up year-to-date.

Of all car manufacturers, only Daimler, Toyota, Volvo and Jaguar Land Rover posted overall gains in November. FCA Group saw sales down by 8.1%, while Ford, which is reorganising its European business, dropped by 8.2% last month.