In 2017, new passenger vehicle registrations in the European Union increased to just over 15 million cars. Germany, Britain, France, Italy and Spain remained the largest car markets in Europe.
The European New Car Market in 2017 (Full Year)
New passenger vehicle registrations in the European Union (EU) and EFTA countries in 2017 increased by 3.3% to 15,631,687 cars – around half a million more cars than were sold in 2016. In the European Union, registrations were up 3.4% to 15,137,732 cars – the first time since 2007 that the EU market exceeded 15 million cars in a calendar year.
2017 was the fourth consecutive year of increasing passenger car sales in Europe. However, the 3.3% growth was slower than in recent years with the monthly increases less stable with some weakness in large markets.
New passenger vehicle registrations in the EU and EFTA were as follows in recent years:
|Year||Sales EU & EFTA||% Change|
Car Sales per European Union and EFTA Country in 2017
New passenger vehicle registrations in 2017 were as follows per EU and EFTA country according to the ACEA:
|Sales 2017||Sales 2016||
% Change 16/17
|EU + EFTA||15,631,687||15,131,778||3.3|
Car Sales in European Countries in 2017 (Full Year)
New passenger vehicle registrations in 2017 increased in almost all EU and EFTA countries. The weakest performance was in Ireland where car sales were down 10%. However, the 5.7% contraction in the UK meant 150,000 cars fewer than in 2016. Car sales were also slightly lower in Switzerland, Denmark and Finland.
Germany remained by far the largest car market in Europe in 2017. Although the German new car market slightly underperformed, registrations still increased by 90,000 cars. Despite shrinking by 150,000 cars, the British new car market was still significantly bigger than third-placed France.
The Italian and Spanish new car markets grew by nearly 8% in 2017. The Belgian market was flat while the Polish market expanded by 17% – by far the fastest growing of the larger car markets in Europe in 2017.
The Dutch car market recovered somewhat in 2017 although still a good 30,000 cars weaker than in 2015. Car sales in Sweden were flat while the Austrian car market expanded by 7%.
There were only two rank order changes in the size of car markets in Europe in 2017: Portugal moved ahead of Denmark and Lithuania overtook Estonia. Although the Portuguese market increased above average, the decline in Denmark was largely due to buyers postponing sales in anticipation of a large reduction in car registration tax from 2018.
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