Car sales in Europe were down during the first semester of 2013. Germany and Britain were the largest car markets.
Car sales in the European Union and EFTA countries continue to contract with the overall market down 6.6% during the first semester of 2013 to 6.4 million new passenger vehicle registrations. The United Kingdom was the only major market to expand while car sales in Germany, France, and Italy were sharply down during the first half of 2013. Belgium overtook The Netherlands to become the sixth largest car market in Europe.
The European Car Market in 2013 (First Semester)
Car sales in the European Union (EU) and EFTA countries continued to contract during the first six months of 2013. The total European car market weakened by 6.6% to 6,436,743 new passenger vehicle registrations.
The contraction in the second quarter of 2013 was less severe than during the first quarter of the year when sales were down 9.7% year on year. Still car sales in May were the weakest since 1993 and June the lowest since 1996.
European Union and EFTA car sales in the second quarter of 2013 were up 1.7% in April (largely due to the timing of Easter) but down 5.9% in May and 5.6% in June.
Car Sales per European Union and EFTA Countries in 2013 (First Semester)
New passenger vehicle registrations in the European Union and EFTA countries during the first half of 2013 according to car sales statistics by the ACEA were:
|European Country||Jan-Jun 2013||Jan-Jun 2012||% Chg|
*EU27 figures exclude the small car market of Malta.
The European New Car Market in 2013 (First Half)
It was mostly doom and gloom in most European car markets during the first six months of 2013 but six countries did manage to show positive year-on-year growth. The most important was the British car market – Europe’s second largest – that continued to expand.
The small Estonian market showed the strongest growth of European car markets during the first half of 2013. Denmark, Portugal, Norway and Belgium also saw an increase in car sales.
In contrast, the Dutch car market shrank by more than a third – the weakest performance in Europe except for Cyprus – allowing the Belgian car market to overtook its northern neighbor to become the sixth largest vehicle market in Europe.
However, more serious for overall numbers are the continued weakness in the German car market and the relentless contraction of the French and Italian markets. The average age of cars in Germany are now over 8 years allowing for much potential for replacement purchases but most analysts expect that not to start happening this year yet.
Although car sales in Greece contracted, the Greek auto market narrowly outperformed the broader market. Just over 30,000 new passenger vehicles were registered in Greece during the first half of 2013 – in full year 2007, the number was 280,000.
Volkswagen remained the strongest car manufacturer in Europe during the first semester of 2013 with premium brand Mercedes Benz registering positive growth. (E130716)