Following a tough year for the European car market, there are faint signs of optimism for the industry going into 2011, as shown in the latest analysis from the world’s leading provider of automotive intelligence, JATO Dynamics.
Sales in Europe’s ‘Big Five’ markets of Great Britain, Germany, Spain, France and Italy all showed negative growth for November, however sales in Eastern Europe remain strong and continue to recover. New car sales across Europe as a whole are down 4.8% on 2009 levels, but despite this Great Britain and Spain look likely to end the year positively with sales up 3.4% and 5.9% respectively for the year to date.
November sales for six of the top ten brands in Europe were down compared to the same period last year. German premium brands continue to perform well, with BMW, Mercedes and Audi up 17.9%, 5.6%, and 3.1% respectively. Volkswagen retains the status of Europe’s best-selling brand for November, helped by the solid performance of its new Polo, which grew 11% compared to 2009.
November saw larger models perform well with strong sales for many Crossover and 4X4 vehicles. For example in the Crossover range, sales of the Volkswagen Tiguan and Land Rover Freelander were up 9.8% and 9.3% respectively while in the 4×4 range the Toyota Land Cruiser and Mitsubishi Outlander were up 38.3% and 43.1%.
David Di Girolamo, Head of JATO Consult, explains: “It has certainly been a tough year for the industry and while sales continue to fall in some markets, there is an emerging optimism about the coming year. However we should remain cautious of how we interpret these figures as many markets had temporarily high growth rates at the start of this year as Scrappage schemes came to an end.”