European sales figures increase in October despite poor UK market

16 November 2017

16 November 2017

The latest sales figures from the European Automobile Manufacturers Association (ACEA) show a 5.9% increase in new car registrations for the month of October.

The numbers are a contrast to September, which saw a 2% fall in sales. In total, 1,169,672 million units were registered across the continent, continuing a year of European sales success where only two months out of ten have seen any drops.

The numbers comes despite a poor UK market, with the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) announcing a 12.2% fall in sales during October. However, this shortfall was made up with impressive figures from Spain, which posted sales up by 13.7%, France, which also saw a rise of 13.7%, and Italy, which saw increases of 7.1%.

Both the UK and Germany suffered in September, which led to the continent-wide sales drop of 2% for the month. However in October, the German market bounced back with a sales rise of 3.9%. This comes as incentives for less polluting vehicles start to take effect in the country. However, similar schemes in the UK have failed to bear fruit, with the SMMT amending its yearly forecast down to 4.7%.

Demand for passenger cars in the new EU member states grew by 20.1% last month, making a significant contribution to the solid performance of the EU market.

From January to October 2017, passenger car registrations across the European Union increased by 3.9%, totalling more than 12.8 million new vehicles registered. The biggest market rises of the year so far are Italy with an 8.9% increase, Spain with 7.3%, France with 4.8% and Germany with 2.3%. However, the UK is suffering in 2017, with a fall of 4.6% in registrations.

Amongst manufacturers, Volkswagen maintained its market leading status for the month with a 4.7% rise in sales and 298,043 units registered compared to October 2016, however its market share fell by 0.3%. Year-to-date, the company is up by 2.4%. French car maker PSA Group enjoyed its expected leap in sales due to the Opel brand’s integrations with its figures, making it comfortably the second biggest manufacturer in Europe. Overall, sales we up by 74%, with the Opel and Vauxhall brands seeing a slight drop compared to 2016’s figures under General Motors, with around 2,000 less units sold.

The UK is the worst performing market in Europe and is currently the only one to be registering an overall drop in sales year-to-date. However, Ford, which is the market leader in the UK and recently attributed its European financial losses to the Brexit affect in the country, saw a sale increase of 5.8% in the month of October.