The European passenger car market posted a highly accelerated increase, marking the 30th consecutive month of growth in February.
After a total of 13.7 million units in 2015, the European auto market has started the year on a speedy pace and sales figures of the first two months are projecting a strong 2016. However, there is still a long way to go before reaching the pre-crisis levels of 15.5 million cars recorded in 2007. The EU passenger car market reported a hefty jump last month, the 30th consecutive one of upward trend. Registrations during February grew +14.3 percent compared to a year earlier, totaling 1,056,902 units, according to data from the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association. Among the main markets, Italy (+27.3%), France (+13.0%), Spain (+12.6%) and Germany (+12.0%) recorded strong performances in February, all posting double-digit percentage growth.
From January to February 2016, new passenger car registrations jumped by 10.1 percent, reaching 2,118,273 million units, with all major markets rising their volumes, contributing to the overall upturn of the region’s automotive industry. Italy (+22.6%) and Spain (+12.4%) recorded the strongest performances over the period. For the same period, Volkswagen’s core brand sales stayed almost flat at 244, 657 cars (+0.2%) and the whole Group rose 4.5 percent, while rivals such as Ford and Opel had double-digit gains. Europe’s biggest automaker also lost some market share, from 25.4 percent a year earlier to 24.1 percent for January-February.