H1 car sales hamstrung by ongoing economic stability, reports JATO
JATO Dynamic’s latest data shows that the European market dropped by 1.4% (104,900 units) during H1 2011 compared to the same period last year. Although there was uplift in sales during May, total sales in June 2011 fell by 7.8%.
Overall European markets struggled during H1 2011. Similar to Q1 2011, only two of the “big five” European markets showed positive growth during H1 2011: France and Germany were up 1.0% and 10.5% respectively while Great Britain, Italy and Spain were down 7.1%, 13.2% and 26.9%. Of these markets, Germany experienced the greatest unit growth in H1, up 153,788 units, while Spain saw the biggest decline, down 162,928 units.
Sales in Central and Eastern Europe have performed consistently well during 2011 as automotive markets expand in the region. Poland performed particularly well, up 22.9% in June and 22.8% during the first half of the year.
Looking at brand performance, despite recording a decrease of 4.3% in June, Volkswagen remains Europe’s top brand, extending its lead over rivals, with sales increasing 5.9% over the last six months. German brands continue to perform well in 2011 with Audi, BMW and Mercedes all experiencing increases of 8.7%, 8.4% and 0.6% respectively.
And during June, only Ford and Audi experienced sales increases, both helped by the launch of new models, the Focus and the Passat. For the first half of the year, Volkswagen’s Golf maintained its leading position in Europe, selling 253,288 units.
Commenting on the findings, Gareth Hession, vice president, research, said: ‘Despite some positive signs earlier this year, ongoing economic instability in many markets has kept many people away from dealerships. The success of new models such as the new Ford Focus and Audi’s A1 demonstrates the importance of having products that are fresh as well as competitively positioned in a difficult market.’