The overall recovery of the battered European auto market continued last month, with industry figures showing the momentum is mostly positive, with the improved consumer confidence, higher retail incentives and new product introductions lifting sales for the vast majority of carmakers.
According to figures tallied by the Association of European Carmakers (ACEA), new passenger car registrations in the European Union and European Free Trade Association trading block soared by 6.2 percent to a total of 1.03 million autos in January, up from 968,451 in the same month of 2014. “January was another strong month,” commented George Galliers, an analyst with Evercore ISI. “We remain constructive on the European auto market, though note the (comparison data) does get slightly more challenging over the coming two months. ” The European auto market began a slow recovery last year after a six-year slump in demand led to two-decade low sales figures. This is why the pace of growth last month partially reflects the weak data from the same month a year ago.
Deliveries rose in most of Europe’s main markets last month and particularly strong growth was seen in Portugal and Spain, where new car registrations jumped around 28 percent. The latter market continues to benefit from an ongoing government subsidy scheme, which ads incentives if buyers axe an old car and purchase a new low-emission vehicle instead. Italy, with sales rising 10.9 percent is also believed to gather pace this year thanks to the drop in oil prices, the recent depreciation of the euro currency, the policy of the ECB and renewed consumer confidence.