Europe: sales in February underscore early revival image

Thanks to continued signs of strengthening economies across the region, a global drop in oil prices and continuous dealer incentives, sales in February soared at a rapid pace across Europe, accelerating the regional recovery.

The Brussels-based European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association, or ACEA, announced in a statement today that new car registrations increase by 7 percent last month from the same period last year to above 958,100 units. For the two-month period, sales have soared 6.6 percent to almost 1.99 million vehicles, with January deliveries rising 6.2 percent. The euro zone saw increased consumer confidence – rising to a seven-month high last month, buoyed by anticipation for the European Central Bank monetary stimulus and the global decline in fuel prices. Even analysts proved satisfied by the hotter than anticipated recovery pace, putting the overall market growth to around 5 percent for the year. The main reasons for the upbeat performance were cited as improving consumer confidence, the drive to replace aging vehicles and the healthier economic development.

Across the five largest European markets there were no signs of negative developments. Again the largest growth was seen in Spain, where a continued trade-in government program works miracles for the market – with a 26 sales jump. The increases were followed by a 13 percent rise in Italy and a 12 percent one seen in the United Kingdom for the 36th consecutive month of rising sales. Germany, the region’s largest economy soared 6.6 percent and France managed to rise by 4.5 percent.