Despite global economic uncertainty and the Brexit vote, sales in Europe this year have grown by 6.8% compared with 2015
Sam Sheehan
20 December 2016

New car sales in Europe have increased by 6.8% in the year to date compared to the same period in 2015, despite growing global economic uncertainty and concerns that the Brexit vote could impact consumer confidence.

Research compiled by London automotive industry analyst JATO Dynamics shows that Europeans bought a total of 13,937,339 cars in 2016 so far, with 1,184,140 of those sales taking place last month. November’s figure represented a growth of 5% compared to the same month in 2015.

The UK ranks as Europe’s fourth-fastest-growing market, with the year-to-date sales here increasing by 2.9% compared with the same period last year. Spain and France were the continent’s fastest growers, with their demand up by 13% and 8.2% respectively.

In the face of Dieselgate the Volkswagen Group maintains its place as Europe’s biggest car maker. It accounted for 24.56% of sales, which represents a drop of just 0.28% on the year before. Renault-Nissan ranks second with 14.1% of sales, a 0.72% increase.

Daimler experienced the highest growth of 0.83%, ranking it fifth overall, while the PSA Group has experienced a decline in sales of 1.19% but still ranks third overall.

The SUV segment is the fastest-expanding car segment, accounting for 316,278 sales in November alone – a growth of 16.1% compared with November 2015 – and representing 26.7% of European sales.

“It’s looking highly likely that 2016 will top 2015’s strong registration figures, which is a remarkable feat given the political and economic uncertainty that has dominated,” said Felipe Munoz, global automotive analyst at JATO Dynamics. “However, it’s important that this growth isn’t taken for granted, as 2017 will bring further uncertainty, with the UK expected to trigger Article 50 in March, beginning the process of exiting the EU.”

Britain’s exit from the EU is expected to dent consumer confidence in the UK and Europe, meaning 2017 could be the year in which growth halts in the new car market.

UK car sales continue to break records in face of Brexit

Our Verdict

Ford Fiesta
Fiestas sold in Europe are ostensibly the same as those sold in America and Asia

The seventh-generation Ford Fiesta is the UK's best selling car, helped by frugal engines, handling verve and a big car feel

Join the debate

Comments
3

20 December 2016
Any car costing over £40k will from mid April cost over £500 on road fund for about six years and even the small cars going up from £20 to £141 I Think.So get a v8 Mustang costing under this ,destroy the planet and be rewarded with a reduction from over £500 to £141,very clever Osborne, it must be the Eton training .So I do think 2017 will decrease in the Uk due to some people pulling forward purchases.Not anything to do with Brexit similar scenario to the housing market and increased stamp duty,great one again Osborne,just blame Brexit .if I were Hammond ,I would reverse these two idiotic cock ups.

21 December 2016
Looking back to 2005 - 2008, it is hard to believe that so much damage could have been reaped by such a small group of bankers. Having created the toxic mortgage backed bonds, they sold them to the investment bankers as a safe long term yeild, while at the same time marketing their known instability to the hedge fund industry.
OK, so the Investment Bankers failed to successfully process due diligence and the hedge fund managers only had to wait but the originating bankers clearly knew what they were doing. To date, no one has been prosecuted.
What of the motor industry? It is evolving to a changing environment. Vehicle prices have risen significantly, technology is being marketed as added value. Low cost of money allowed Pheonix like survival of many manufacturers, although we did see a bit of a brand cull. The growing Chinese market protected manufacturers volumes from the collapsing US and European Markets.
The long awaited arrival of the Chinese Challenger Brands failed to materialise.
The Diesel engine is being sacrificed at the shrine of clean air when poor political decision making had put it on a pedestal. The Diesel is a great power resource in the right environment.
The EV is being accelerated in to replace Diesel and I hope it won't be compromised in the rush.
Arguably the greatest change is coming from the IT industry with the promise of autonomous self driving vehicles, car sharing and collision avoidance as unintended consequences.
2017 - 2020 will be interesting times.

21 December 2016
Nissan is number two in European car sales figures! Above Peugeot and Renault! Is that right? And not a typo? A few slip through every now and then. On the other hand Volkswagen seems to be doing rather well despite their well catalogued and widely reported corruption.

Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • Lexus LC500
    Car review
    20 October 2017
    Futuristic Lexus LC coupé mixes the latest technology with an old-school atmospheric V8
  • Maserati Levante S GranSport
    First Drive
    20 October 2017
    Get ready to trade in your diesels: Maserati’s luxury SUV finally gets the engine it’s always needed
  • Jaguar XF Sportbrake TDV6
    First Drive
    19 October 2017
    The handsome Jaguar XF Sportbrake exhibits all the hallmarks that makes the saloon great, and with the silky smooth diesel V6 makes it a compelling choice
  • Volkswagen T-Roc TDI
    First Drive
    19 October 2017
    Volkswagen's new compact crossover has the looks, the engineering and the build quality to be a resounding success, but not with this diesel engine
  • BMW M550i
    First Drive
    19 October 2017
    The all-paw M550i is a fast, effortless mile-muncher, but there's a reason why it won't be sold in the UK