Europe sees mixed sales reports in May image

Although across the region in the first few months the sales were generally positive, May brought a different image as generally new-car sales were rather lackluster.

While finally Europe’s automotive industry shows signs of early recovery from the six-years dip in demand, the region still faces many issues, from production overcapacity, heavy discounting and an ongoing incentives war between automakers, disturbing the true level of demand.

After France posted a narrow 0.1% increase last month, sales in Italy went down 4% in May, with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles going down 11% and General Motors dipping 23%.

The only good signs came from Germany and Spain, although the former – if the extra weekend in May was subtracted – would have also posted a loss over the same period in 2013. The Spanish market grew 17%, for a record ninth straight month of increases, according to car manufacturers’ association Anfac – with the government subsidy scheme still in place.

Meanwhile, in Germany, Europe’s largest single market, the market – led by incentives coming from automakers like Opel and Citroen – had a 5% gain last month. According to International Strategy and Investment UK Ltd., Germany should grow for the year its sales by 3.5%, with the data so far showing the market is on track to achieve the projected growth.

Via Automotive News Europe