Car sales in Europe surge 16% in May image

The European passenger new-car market saw a strong growth for the 33rd consecutive month in May, when sales jumped 16 percent.

According to data released by the European Automobile Manufacturers Associations, sales in in the EU and EFTA hit 1,288,220 units last month, coming close to May 2008 volumes, just before the economic crisis hit the automotive industry. From January to May 2016, new passenger car registrations increased by 9.9 percent, totaling 6.4 million units, with all major markets posting growth and contributing to the overall upturn of the European auto market. Looking ahead, it is expected that the market will maintain its positive momentum, ACEA said. Earlier this month, the association revised its forecast for 2016 car registrations upwards from its initial January forecast of 2 percent growth.

“Looking ahead, we now forecast growth for EU passenger car sales in the region of 5 percent this year. Commercial vehicle sales should also grow substantially,” ACEA President, Dieter Zetsche, stated. In terms of units, this would mean over 14 million cars sold, but still below pre-crisis level of 15.5 million units.

The biggest gains in May were reported by Renault Group, with combined sales at Renault and Dacia up by 27.9 percent, followed by a 25.3 percent rise for Fiat-Chrysler, 20.4 percent up from BMW Group, 19.4 percent for Toyota and 17.6 percent for the PSA Group, Europe’s second-biggest automaker after VW Group. Speaking of which, Volkswagen’s sales rose by 8.8 percent last month, with a 4.1 percent increase for its core brand.