France’s feeble economy has led to consumers once more fretting that big-item purchase, leaving December’s sales down 6.8% year-on-year, but neighboring countries Spain and Italy compensated for the loss.
The European auto industry has been left in a floundering recovery from the six-year slump that led to the sales crashing to a two-decade low. But the overall European market is not out of the danger yet, with uncertainties hovering over large markets such as France or even Germany and political tensions in the East, in Russia. The automakers are now left with contrasting year-end performances from France, Spain and Italy – with the latter duo seeing increases in December.
Spain’s new car sales rose once more, jumping 21.4%, aided by the ongoing subsidy scheme and Italy saw a modest 2.35% rise. The latter, the region’s fourth-largest car market has seen deliveries growing in December to 91,518 autos, according to the transport ministry. Overall, throughout 2014, Italy’s deliveries totaled 1.36 million vehicles, an increase of 4.21 % over the same period of 2013. Spain, meanwhile, saw December’s sales jump to 73,440 cars, with a full year tally of 855,308, a spectacular rise of 18.4% over 2013 and the best yearly result since 2010, according to car makers’ association Anfac. “The car market ends the year with its strongest annual growth in 15 years, with the Plan PIVE allowing 16 straight months expansion,” commented David Barrientos, head of communication at Anfac. The Plan PIVE, the government’s subsidy scheme that gives incentives for those buying new low-emission vehicles was expanded for the seventh time in November.