Key findings: The European new car market is down by 6.7% year-to-date, posting a 6.3% decrease in new car sales in June compared to June 2012 Within the ‘Big 5’ markets, Spain saw a small rise in June figures but Great Britain was the only market to record significant sales increases for H1 2013 Mercedes is the only brand in the top 10 to record increased sales volumes for both monthly and year-to-date figures
Halfway through 2013, the overall European new car market remains down 6.7% compared to same period in 2012. In the last six months, 464,204 fewer new cars were sold in Europe, bringing the total to 6,458,200 new vehicles for the half year. Out of the countries experiencing a reduction in sales, Cyprus recorded the largest percentage drop of 45.6% year-to-date. Germany, which recorded an 8.1% decrease in new car sales and registrations recorded the largest volume drop, with 131,771 fewer cars sold in the first half of 2013 than were sold in the same period in 2012.
Both Denmark and Great Britain have reported two of the biggest increases over H1 2012, posting increases of 9.1% and 10.0% respectively; however Great Britain’s increase of 105,943 additional cars sold in H1 2013 than in H1 2012 is the more significant of the two, due to overall market size.
Similarly, Great Britain also posted one of the largest changes in monthly figures, selling 25,443 more cars in June 2013, a 13.4% increase over June 2012. However, the largest overall change was a decrease experienced by The Netherlands, with 40,682 fewer new cars being sold in June 2013, a 53.4% drop over June 2012.
In Ireland, buyers are hesitating to buy ahead of the country’s first mid-year registration plate change resulting in a 73.7% drop over June 2012.
Spain, however, posted a 0.6% increase for June year-on-year, suggesting the market could be stabilising, despite overall sales remaining down 4.2% year to date.
Amongst the top 10 manufacturers, Mercedes is the only brand to post an increase for both year-to-date and monthly figures. The German brand posted a 2.1% increase in sales for H1 2013 and a 0.9% increase in June 2013 year-on-year. Ford was the only other brand in the top 10 this month to post an increase in sales, achieving a 7.0% increase for June year-on-year. All other brands, even market leaders Volkswagen, reported a drop in sales for both monthly and year-to-date figures. Outside of the top 10, Dacia recorded strong progress with a 12.7% increase for June year-on-year and an overall increase of 17.2% during the first half of 2013. Also making notable progress is SEAT, up 9.9% for June and 9.4% for H1 2013 and Jaguar, up 11.6% for June and 15.0% for H1 2013. Mazda, Honda and Land Rover all remain up overall for H1 2013.
Three of the top 10 European models remain up on H1 2012; Renault Clio, Peugeot 208 and BMW 3 Series. These models also posted an increase in sales for June year-on-year, along with the Ford Focus (up 1.6%) and Volkswagen Golf (up 2.8%) which remains Europe’s best seller.
Outside of the top 10, Audi are enjoying success with the new A3, which has posted an increase of 24.7% for June year-on-year and a 14.3% increase for H1 2013. The Dacia Sandero has also performed well from launch with an 80.2% increase for June and 45.6% increase for H1 2013. One of the biggest increases, however, has come from the Mercedes A-Class, with a 157.1% increase for June year-on-year and 96.4% for H1 2013, after a successful launch of the new model.
Commenting on the findings, Gareth Hession, vice-president of research at JATO Dynamics, said: “It is disheartening to see the overall European new car sales market down by nearly 7% on 2012. There are glimmers of hope though; Great Britain and Denmark lead the country tables for improvement, Dacia continues to show promise and Mercedes shows a strong sales performance with the new A-class.”