New car registrations across the crucial western European region only edged up 0.2 percent last month, industry figures show, with the continent’s feeble recovery from the economic crisis again showing its weak points.
According to data compiled and estimated by consulting firm LMC Automotive, auto sales totaled 1.06 million vehicles in May, with the year-over-year tally impacted by the lower number of selling days this year compared to May 2014. The annualized selling rate, adjusted for selling days and seasonal effects, also registered a decrease last month to 12.51 million units from 12.96 million autos in April, according to the consultancy firm. Still, after the first five months of the year the overall tally is positive – up 6.6 percent from the figures registered during the first five months of last year. “Generally we are seeing an improving picture,” said Emiliano Lewis, a UK-based analyst with LMC. “With economic expansion expected to continue through this year and beyond, the market outlook remains healthy.”
The figures, which have been aggregated from published registration figures and forecasted for certain, smaller markets, paint a contrasting picture. For example, the United Kingdom saw the SAAR jump 7.2 percent last month, Spain also edged up by one percent – while French deliveries on the same basis were down 4.7 percent and those in Italy fell 5.5 percent. The largest market of the continent, Germany, plummeted around eleven percent to 2.92 million units. The tally suggests the European economies are not yet strong enough, such as France, while industry experts are continuing to question whether the European auto recovery is reaching sustainable levels.
Via Automotive News Europe