European Car Market In Decline
(Monday 20 August 2012)
We reported recently that UK car registrations seem to be recovering after the slump of the last few years. Figures released by industry analysts JATO Dynamics suggests that we are alone among the major European economies in this respect. German registrations fell significantly in July, though the downfall for 2012 as a whole is only 0.1%, while France, Spain and Italy are all experiencing more serious declines.
Across Europe, 8.2% fewer new cars were registered in July compared with the same month last year, and the year-to-date figure is down 4.9%. The only countries experiencing significant growth so far in 2012 are Hungary (20.0%), Estonia (24.3%) and the recovering Iceland (55.1%), but since the three of them combined register fewer cars in a whole year than the UK does in a month they don't have much bearing on the overall figures.
Volkswagen continues to lead the market thanks to the diminishing but still industry-leading popularity of the Golf (pictured). The Polo and the UK's most popular car, the Ford Fiesta, were second and third in July but are in reverse order for the year to date, while the Vauxhall/Opel Astra is fourth. The Peugeot 208, a new chart entry, was fifth in the July table and put Peugeot third among the manufacturers, though for the first seven months of 2012 it's still fifth behind Vauxhall/Opel and Renault.