European new car sales struggle to regain lost ground, reports JATO
Overall, the European performance is now 3.2% below 2009 levels, at this point in the year. True comparisons remain difficult, with 2009 figures inflated by scrappage-driven demand, but some of the major brands, models and markets are still in the red.
As traditional sales territories for the industry’s big names, this has consequences for the leading brands and models. The top five brands – Volkswagen, Ford, Opel/Vauxhall, Renault and Peugeot – posted September sales down by an average of 9.7%, while the top two models – VW Golf and Ford Fiesta – were down 28.9% and 22.2%, respectively.
The powerhouses of European new car sales – UK, France, Germany and Italy – all posted lower figures for September 2010, than the same month in 2009, with Germany on course to sell one million fewer cars than last year.
David Di Girolamo, head of JATO Consult, said: 'Europe has been through the scrappage highs and lows and now looks to be edging slowly towards recovery. The question is when will more favourable conditions return to the "Big Five"?'