New vehicle registrations in Western Europe, where almost all major regional markets are located, have soared 6.7 percent last month, buoyed by the expanding economic turnaround, new model introductions and increased discounts.
According to consulting firm LMC Automotive, the total sales across the zone were up to 1.12 million units with southern European countries (Spain, Italy, etc.) continued their economic turnaround after the slump in demand brought by the 2008 global financial crisis. According to LMC, the major contributors to the strong consumer confidence were the increase across wages and continued availability of cheap financing options – leading to an eight-year high level of consumer sentiment. Italy was the month’s champion thanks to a jump in demand of almost 25 percent – home brand Fiat led the discounting war with incentives of up to 3,000 euros. Germany, the continent’s largest auto market, also reported a healthy 6.3 percent gain and the usually positive UK market advanced by 5 percent. Spain – which usually registered double-digit growth – had a rise of 3.2 percent after the government subsidy scheme ended. France was modestly up by 2.3 percent.
Further LMC figures showed that even crisis-laden Greece had a positive trend, lifting sales by 1.6 percent. April deliveries in Portugal jumped 21.8 percent and Ireland was not far behind at 21.1 percent. The seasonally adjusted annualized selling rate for the month was of 13 million units overall across the region. Forecasts for the full-year range from a 3 percent increase to 12.5 million autos made by IHS Automotive to a more bullish 6.6 percent to 12.9 million vehicles made by LMC.
Via Automotive News Europe