New passenger vehicle registrations in the EU and EFTA countries increased by 8.2% to 4,256,202 cars during the first quarter of 2017.
Car sales during the first three months of 2017 were strong in the European Union (EU) and EFTA countries with sales up in all but two countries. Germany and the United Kingdom remained the two largest single-country car markets in Europe despite both underperforming the broader market. Only Ireland and Finland had weaker sales while Greece (+38%) was the strongest performer.
The European New Car Market in 2017 (Q1)
New passenger vehicle registrations in the EU and EFTA countries increased by 8.2% to 4,256,202 cars. In the EU, car sales increased by 8.4% to 4,141,269 cars.
March 2017 was the strongest single month for car sales in the EU ever. The month, and first quarter of 2017, was helped by Easter falling in April in 2017 while it was in March in 2016. The Easter vacations may thus put a damper on sales in April.
Car Sales Per European Country in 2017 (Q1)
New passenger vehicle registrations in the EU and EFTA during the first quarter of 2017 were as follows according to the ACEA:
|EU + EFTA||4,256,202||3,932,911||+8.2|
Note: all figures exclude Malta.
Europe’s Largest Car Markets in 2017 (Q1)
There were no changes in the rank order of the top nine county markets in Europe during the first quarter of 2017. Of the top five markets (Germany, UK, Italy, France and Spain), only Italy outperformed the broader market and in the process increase its lead over fourth placed France from 4,000 to over 40,000 cars.
Car sales in Belgium were up by almost 10% but the star performers were Poland and The Netherland where sales were up by more than a fifth. Sweden maintained its ninth place while Austria replaced Ireland as the tenth largest country market for new cars in Europe during the first quarter of 2017.
Ireland slipped to eleventh with sales down by 8%. The only other European Union country with lower sales during the first quarter of 2017 was Finland – sales were down 0,0003%, or one car.
The two most improved markets were Greece (+38% at 21st place) and Romania (+27.5% at 20th place).
Volkswagen remained the largest carmaker and car brand in Europe during the first quarter of 2017 despite loosing market share – see 2017 (Q1) Europe: Best-Selling Car Manufacturers and Brands.