Automotive sector thriving

The European automotive industry continued to thrive in November, despite the continuing questions over the Brexit referendum and the future of the EU knocking consumer confidence.

European car registrations in November showed that the automotive industry is proving resilient. Total registrations in the 29 European markets analysed by JATO Dynamics totalled 1,184,140 – an overall growth of five per cent when compared to November 2015. Year-to-date registrations for 2016 so far totalled 13,937,339 – an increase of 6.8% when compared to last year, and the largest YTD increase since 2007. The SAAR came in at 15,097,119.

Europe’s largest five markets all posted an increase in registrations during November, with the Spanish market seeing the highest increase in sales of 13% compared to the same period in 2015. France ranked second, achieving a healthy growth of 8.2%. Meanwhile, Germany, Italy and the UK all posted modest increases of 1.5%, five per cent and 2.9% respectively. November was a positive month for car registrations across Europe – with 26 out of 29 markets recording an increase in registrations compared to 2015. The only markets experiencing a decline were Ireland, Switzerland and the Netherlands where registrations declined by 20.4%, 0.4% and 20.7% respectively.

Volkswagen Group maintained its position as Europe’s largest car group in November 2016 with Renault-Nissan increasing its marketshare by 0.72%, keeping its second-place position. Daimler posted the highest marketshare increase of 0.83%, making it the fifth largest car maker in Europe and meaning it accounted for 6.74% of the market in November. Conversely, the biggest decline in marketshare was experienced by PSA, which remained Europe’s third largest car group despite a decrease in market share of 1.19% due to declines posted by all of its brands.

In the segment ranking, SUVs continued to perform well in November, 316,278 SUVs were registered, which was a 16.1% increase on the same month last year. The SUV segment continued to increase its hold on the market – posting the highest market share gain of any segment and meaning it accounted for 26.7% of the market in November. This was detrimental to traditional segments such the MPV, A, and E segments which all posted declines in registrations compared to November 2015.

The Volkswagen Golf maintained its long held position of being Europe’s leading car, despite registrations for the model declining by 7.5% when compared to November 2015. The Renault Clio was the second best-selling model across Europe’s 29 markets, its November registrations increased by 20.3% when compared to the same month last year. The Renault Captur was Europe’s best-selling SUV in November, it registered 188 more models than its rival – the Volkswagen Tiguan, and pushed the Nissan Qashqai in to third place.

‘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 2016. However, it’s important that this growth isn’t taken for granted. Any decline in consumer confidence in the UK is likely to impact the European automotive market greatly – especially given that the German car market counts the UK as its biggest export market,’ explained Felipe Munoz, global automotive analyst at JATO Dynamics.