11 percent falloff in Germany, 18 percent in France, 26 percent in Italy and 37 percent in Spain are a possible indicator of bad things to come.
Al S. - CleanMPG
- Oct. 16, 2012
Four of Europe’s five largest automotive markets experienced sales declines last month as the EU recorded a total of 1,099,264 new cars, or 10.8% less than in the same month a year ago. Looking at the major markets, the British was the only one to expand, while Germany (-10.9%), France (-17.9%), Italy (-25.7%) and Spain (-36.8%) all faced a double-digit downturn. It was the 12th consecutive monthly drop in sales and the biggest fall since October 2010.
The debt crisis sees five of the 17 countries using the Euro now recession, and there’s a 55 percent chance Europe will slide into such a slowdown in the next 12 months, according to a recent Bloomberg survey.
From January to September, the EU market shrank by 7.6%, compared to the first nine months of 2011. Results were diverse across markets, as the UK posted growth (+4.3%), while Germany saw its demand fall by 1.8% and Spain (-11.0%), France (-13.8%) and Italy (-20.5%) contracted more severely.
Although the German market has been hostile during the last quarter, German brands continue to perform relatively well. BMW and Audi were the only brands in the top ten to record a sales increase in September, up 9.0%
and 0.2% respectively compared to last year, whilst Audi was the only brand to end Q3 2012 with a sales increase on last year up 6%. Audi can attribute its positive performance last month to the popularity of its new Q3, A6 and
A1 models, whilst BMW can credit its new offerings (1-Series and 3-Series) with its success last month. Volkswagen remains the top European brand despite a decrease of 7.6% in Q3 2012 compared to 2011.
Toyota is just outside the top ten with its 2.7% increase in Q3 sales bolstered by the new Yaris. Hyundai, Kia, Honda, Land Rover and Subaru also recorded strong sales increases in last quarter following the launch of new and
revamped models from these brands.