Manufacturers struggle as the European car market continues to contract
17 December 2008

European car sales so far this year have dropped by one million units compared with last year’s figures.

The slump represents a 7.1 per cent decline in the market, which puts European sales in November down 25.3 per cent on October’s figures.

Volkswagen has maintained its position as the leading car brand due to the launch of the new Scirocco and continued popularity of the Golf. But despite a 5.5 per cent increase in sales of the Golf this year, Volkswagen sales have dipped by 3.8 per cent.

Audi is the only manufacturer in the top ten sales list to show an increase this year, up by 0.2 per cent. This is due, in part, to the new A4, which not only ranks as the ninth best selling model but also has recorded a 16.6 per cent rise in European sales so far this year.

The majority of European countries’ automotive industries have declined substantially. Iceland heads the table of the worst performing nations, with car sales down 94.6 per cent in the wake of the collapse of several of its financial institutions.

Sales in Britain are down by 36.8 per cent year on year.

Finland’s economy, however, has shown remarkable resilience; sales are up 77.5 per cent year on year and 9.5 per cent on the year. Slovakia has fared even better; sales there have increased by 17.2 per cent during 2008.

George Barrow

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Comments
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17 December 2008

[quote Autocar]The slump represents a 7.1 per cent decline in the market[/quote]

I know its all relative but that doesnt seem as bad as I expected. For all the doom and gloom we hear about i thought the figure would be alot higher. It does seem that the decline has been speeding up towards the end of the year though. If this continues then 2009 will be a record year - for the wrong reason.

Whereas: "Sales in Britain are down by 36.8 per cent year on year" seems very high indeed! Is that year-to-date figures? - or just comparing this months figures with the same month last year?

17 December 2008

The 36.8 will be month v month, the overall figure is around 15/16 - hopefully the industry will see some footfall in January with the VAT reductions as this is traditionally the 3rd biggest month in the year for some makers

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year everyone!!

17 December 2008

[quote Quattro369]Whereas: "Sales in Britain are down by 36.8 per cent year on year" seems very high indeed! Is that year-to-date figures? - or just comparing this months figures with the same month last year?[/quote]

'Steak Bake' is right. the UK -36.8% figure is for November 2008 registrations against Nov 2007 regs. Year to date 2008 UK is down 10.7%

The point is the fall off has been precipitous and unprecedented in the second half of 2008 and especially in the last three months, since the real blow up on Wall Street in September with Lehmans bankruptcy and so on. The running rate, which is what the industry execs watch, not YTD figures is now about 30% down and falling; that's what scares the car industry to death, the elimination of up to 5m units a year and all the job losses that may have to follow it. In comparison America's running rate is off about 40% from 17m units a year in 2006 to barely 10m now. That's calamitous and bankrupty territory.

If you want the stats from the horse's mouth see:

http://www.acea.be/index.php/news/news_detail/passenger_cars_new_registrations_down_258_in_november

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