First Half 2019: Germany was the largest car market in Europe followed by the UK, France, Italy and Spain. The overall market contracted by 3%.
January to June 2019: New passenger vehicle registrations in the European Union (EU) and EFTA countries contracted by 3.1% to 8,183,562 cars. The German new car market had its best first semester ever with car sales up by 0.5% to extend its leading position as Europe’s largest new car market. The other top five European new car markets all contracted but the size order remained unchanged with Britain still the second largest car market in Europe followed by France, Italy and Spain.
European New Car Market in 2019 (First Half)
During the first half year 2019, new passenger vehicle registrations in the European Union (EU) were 3.1% lower at 8,183,562 cars – around 266,000 fewer than were sold in the EU during the first semester of 2018.
New passenger vehicle registrations in the EU and EFTA combined were similarly 3.1% lower at 8,426,190 cars.
Although the European new car market contracted by 3.1% during the first half of 2019, car sales remained near record levels. The first semester of 2018 had the highest car sales in Europe this century and the first half of 2019 was the third consecutive year that car sales in the EU exceeded eight million vehicles during the first six months of the year.
Car Sales per EU and EFTA Country in 2019 (Half Year)
New passenger vehicle registrations per EU and EFTA country during the first six months of 2019 were as follows according to the ACEA:
|Countries||Jan-Jun 2019||Jan-Jun 2018||%Change 18/19|
|EU + EFTA||8,426,190||8,696,227||-3.1|
Note: No data for Malta.
Car Sales in European Countries in 2019 (First Half)
Car sales in most European countries were lower during the first half of 2019 with the noticeable exception of Germany and Poland. Germany remained the largest single country car market in Europe and sales expanded by 0.5% to a new strongest first semester record. In effect, the German new car market was only 10,000 cars bigger than during the first six months of 2018.
The UK remained the second largest new car market in Europe at the start of 2019 despite a 3.4% contraction. Uncertainty caused by Brexit and future emission regulations contributed to the decline in new car sales but in Italy and Spain the contraction was even stronger. France was the third largest new car market thus far in 2019 with the market down by 1.8%.
Poland (+1.9%) was, apart from Germany, the only of the ten largest new car markets in Europe with an expanding market. The Swedish new car market contracted by a quarter and the Dutch market by a tenth.
The weakest car markets in Europe during the first semester of 2019 were Iceland (-38.7%) and Sweden (-25.6%). The fastest growing markets were Lithuania (+47.1%) and Romania (+19.2%). Romania also added the highest number of extra cars – more than 11,000 more than during the first half of 2018.