Appetite for premium models grows despite falling sales, says JATO
Overall, the European performance is 4.6% down on October 2009's position. Sales in Europe's "Big Five" markets of Great Britain, Germany, Spain, France and Italy are all showing negative growth while sales in Central and Eastern Europe have performed well. Surprisingly, despite Ireland's economic trouble, sales in the country grew 114.7% in October compared to the same period last year. This is largely down to Ireland still running a scrappage scheme, having not had one last year.
Sales for eight of the top ten brands in Europe were also down in October with only BMW and Audi showing positive growth, up 6.3% and 1.4% respectively on the same time last year. In terms of units sold, Volkswagen retains its place as Europe's best-selling brand in October, with the Golf and Polo as Europe's top two selling models.
Surprisingly, sales of large, premium models are growing despite the economic conditions. For example, sales of the BMW 5 Series were up 68% in October compared to last year, while the Land Rover Range Rover and Mercedes E-Class were up 40.8% and 12.7% respectively.
David Di Girolamo, head of JATO Consult, said: 'While a direct comparison due to last year's Scrappage schemes is difficult, our data demonstrates the industry still has a long way to go in its recovery. What is encouraging, however, is that those markets that did not have scrappage schemes last year are now showing increased sales, providing a glimmer of hope for the industry.'