According to data provided by the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association, car registrations saw an 8.2 percent increase in the first quarter and a 6.0 percent jump in March.
The EU passenger car market posted strong results in March again, marking the 31st consecutive month of growth. Registrations during the month increased by 6.0 percent, reaching more than 1.7 million units (1,700,683). In volume terms, this result is close to March 2007 levels, just before the economic crisis hit the automotive industry. As for the first quarter of the year, registrations jumped by 8.2 percent, totaling 3,819,269 million units.
Separately, Volkswagen’s Passenger Cars division reported nearly 1.46 million worldwide deliveries in the first quarter of this year, down 1.3 percent, while at just under 544,000 units, sales in March were only 2.7 percent down on the comparable prior-year period. The decline last month was less severe than a 4.7 percent decline in February, but contrasted with a 5.7 percent rise in total car sales by all brands in Europe in March. At 429,300 units, the company almost matched the prior-year level on the overall European market for the first quarter, with a fall of 1.0 percent for last month, to 181,800 units. The brand’s figures in the US were 10.4 percent down last month and with a 12.5 percent decrease from January to March.
Analysts said customer faith in VW’s namesake brand has been hurt by a stalled German vehicle recall and a stop sale of diesel models in the United States where seven months into the scandal, VW still lacks a technical fix for almost 600,000 cars. By contrast, the 6.5 percent increase in China for the first three months marked the best quarterly performance since the company entered the Chinese market over 30 years ago.
As for the whole Group, the brand pulled down the overall sales, which were slightly under par in March, dropping 0.2 percent. All VW’s marques posted increases, expect VW and MAN, but the quarter result remained positive with 2,487,700 units sold, up 0.8 percent.