2014 (Q1) Europe: Car Sales per EU and EFTA Country

First quarter 2014 new passenger vehicle registrations in the European Union and EFTA increased by 8% with all major markets growing.

Porsche and Bugatti Stands at Geneva Auto Show 2014

The European Union and EFTA car market expanded by 8.1% during the first three months of 2014. All major European markets showed an increase in new passenger vehicle registrations during the first quarter of 2014. Germany remains the largest single-country car market in Europe with Britain second and the fastest growing of the major markets. Volkswagen remained the best-selling carmaker in Europe with the VW Golf the most popular car model.

The European Union & EFTA Car Market in 2014 (Q1)

March Car Registrations in EuropeNew passenger vehicle registrations in the European Union and EFTA grew by 8.1% during the first quarter of 2014 to 3,353,180 cars. March 2014 was the seventh consecutive month of growth of car sales in Europe but in absolute terms the sales figures remain the second lowest first quarter since the current statistical series was introduced just over a decade ago.

Car sales in the EU in March 2014 increased by more than 10%. The only time in the previous decade that growth in March was in double digits was in 2010.

Car Sales per European Union and EFTA Countries in 2014 (Q1)

New passenger vehicle registrations during the first three months of 2014 in the EU and EFTA countries according to car sales statistics released by theΒ ACEAΒ were as follows:

Q1/2014 Q1/2013 % Change
AUSTRIA 81’281 80’024 +1.6
BELGIUM 148’532 149’160 -0.4
BULGARIA 4’619 3’541 +30.4
CROATIA 7’244 6’037 +20.0
CYPRUS 2’099 1’869 +12.3
CZECH REPUBLIC 42’993 36’453 +17.9
DENMARK 47’842 41’952 +14.0
ESTONIA 4’736 4’678 +1.2
FINLAND 30’503 27’648 +10.3
FRANCE 446’609 433’882 +2.9
GERMANY 711’753 673’957 +5.6
GREECE 16’607 14’142 +17.4
HUNGARY 15’496 12’556 +23.4
IRELAND 49’966 39’493 +26.5
ITALY 376’519 355’818 +5.8
LATVIA 2’852 2’354 +21.2
LITHUANIA 3’406 2’734 +24.6
LUXEMBURG 12’311 12’315 -0.0
NETHERLANDS 107’723 115’421 -6.7
POLAND 97’622 75’721 +28.9
PORTUGAL 33’954 24’162 +40.5
ROMANIA 13’345 11’233 +18.8
SLOVAKIA 16’855 14’501 +16.2
SLOVENIA 13’799 12’768 +8.1
SPAIN 202’128 180’725 +11.8
SWEDEN 67’803 56’074 +20.9
UNITED KINGDOM 688’122 605’198 +13.7
EUROPEAN UNION 3’246’719 2’994’416 +8.4
NORWAY 36’492 33’696 +8.3
ICELAND 1’574 1’333 +18.1
SWITZERLAND 68’395 71’751 -4.7
EFTA 106’461 106’780 -0.3
EU & EFTA 3’353’180 3’101’196 +8.1

Excluding data for Malta.

European Car Sales per Country in 2014 (Q1)

Car sales in Europe improved in all major markets during the first three months of 2014. Although the expansion was relatively weak in Germany, France and Italy, positive growth is no longer just depended on the fast growing British market.

The British car market traditionally has a very strong first quarter due to the importance of March sales, which see the introduction of new number plates. For Germany, and many other markets, the second quarter of the year is usually more important for absolute sales.

However, even when taking this anomaly into account, the British market is fast catching up with Germany, still the largest single-country market in Europe. The first quarter of 2014 difference between German and British new passenger vehicle registrations was less than 24,000 cars – during 2012 (Q1) the gap was 210,000 cars.

Other salient features from the first quarter of 2014 European car sales statistics:

  • Only four countries saw a decline in the number of cars sold compared to the first three months in 2013: The Netherland, Belgium, Luxemburg and Switzerland.
  • The Dutch figures – the weakest performance in the EU – were heavily influenced by a change in fiscal policy, which saw many buyers advancing sales at the end of last year. Switzerland had its second best year on record in 2013 and lower sales were widely expected for this year.
  • Portugal and Bulgaria were the strongest performers during this quarter but more significant was the around 20,000 cars added to the Polish market.

See Also:

2014 (Q1) Best-Selling Car Brands and Models in Europe

About the author:

Henk Bekker

Henk Bekker is a freelance writer with over 20 years of experience in online writing. His best-selling cars website has been reporting car sales statistics since 2008 with classic car auction prices focusing on the most expensive automobiles sold at public auctions in the past decade. He also owns the travel websites European-Traveler.com and Lake Geneva Switzerland. Henk holds an MBA from Edinburgh Business School and an MSc in Finance from the University of London.