New car sales grew by 13.8 percent in February, overpassing the 1-million-unit mark, according to data provided by LMC automotive.
The new car registrations kept its solid pace last month on the West European markets, with a total of 1,007,994 vehicles sold in the region. The adjusted selling rate stood at 14.1 million units per year and, so far this year, the market is up around 10 percent, LMC automotive said. The data provider company forecasts that at least 13.9 million cars will be sold in 2016 full year, a projection based on the first two months of the year. However, LMC cautions that things could rapidly turn around, both because of external factors, with slowing global economic growth, and within the region, because of the potential UK exit from the European Union.
In February, the Italian car market performed very well, up 22.4 percent year-to-date and with sales growing around 27 percent year-on-year, marking the 21th consecutive month of increase. The country’s auto market continues to recover from a period of weak sales, with 172,241 vehicles sold last month. The biggest demand for new cars is still in Germany, with 250,302 units sold, up 12.1 percent compared to a year earlier, where corporate sales accounted for around two- thirds of the total figures. Even if corporate sales were the main growth driver last year, now LMC sees a more balanced picture, with private sales (+5.4 percent year-to-date) having a healthy momentum in recent months. In France, sales were up 13 percent last month, while the UK also saw strong growth, posting a selling rate of 2.7 million units per year.