Buoyed by increased consumer confidence, Europe’s new car sales rose for the ninth straight month in May, with most of the sales going to Renault, Volkswagen or General Motors.
According to the Brussels-based European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association, or ACEA, the car sales grew 4.3% in May, with registrations totaling 1.13 million vehicles – up from 1.09 million units in 2013. The total for the first five months of 2014 now stands at 5.62 million autos, for a 6.6% gain.
“If you look at places like Spain, where sales gained 17 percent, it’s clear there’s a degree of pent-up demand, but how sustainable this is remains to be seen,” said Marc-Rene Tonn, an analyst with M.M. Warburg in Hamburg. “It’s a modest recovery from low levels of overall demand, and it’s the second-worst May since 2003.”
ACEA tallies figures for the 28-country European Union, excepting Malta and also Switzerland, Norway and Iceland. Renault – the third automaker by volume in Europe, had the best monthly increase, with an 18% jump, aided by the increases of 24% at the affordable Dacia brand and the 16% growth at its namesake brand. European leader Volkswagen increased deliveries by 9.5% overall, while Opel and Vauxhall managed a 6.2 % expansion. Overall though, sales for all GM brands decreased 7.1% as the US automaker withdraws its Chevrolet nameplate from the region.