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European New Car Market Continues to Grow

March 23, 2015

Chart: JATO Dynamics
Chart: JATO Dynamics

New car sales for the month of February were 7.8 percent higher than the same month in
2014, according to the latest new car sales analysis from automotive intelligence provider JATO Dynamics. Combined with the rise seen in January this means that the market is already 7.1 percent ahead of 2014 year-to-date.

JATO’s headline market analysis:

  • Volkswagen’s Golf maintains its lead, with sales up 5.8 percent in February and 5.4 percent year-to-date, while the Polo retained second place for the month, up 7.2 percent.
  • Volkswagen, Renault and Ford were the best-selling brands in February.
  • Of the 29 markets covered, 18 recorded growth compared to February 2014.

As in January, the five biggest markets in Europe (France, Germany, Great Britain, Italy, and Spain) recorded growth in the new car market compared to February 2015. Spain experienced the highest increase (up 22.2 percent) compared to the same month in 2014, while Italy and Great Britain also recorded double digit growth.

Volkswagen remains the market-leading brand, with Renault overtaking Ford for second position for both February and the year-to-date, with sales increases coming from the new Twingo and the Captur, according to JATO Dynamic’s analysis. All of the top 10 brands saw their volumes increase for the month, with BMW posting the strongest growth at 14.8 percent driven by the new 2-Series Active Tourer.

Chart: JATO Dynamics
Chart: JATO Dynamics

Outside the top 10 growth was also driven primarily by new models, with Nissan volumes up 26.8 percent for the month, SEAT up 20.9 percent, MINI up 33.4 percent, Mitsubishi up 45.1 percent, smart up 44.3 percent and Jeep up 186.2 percent, according to the JATO Dynamics research.

Chart: JATO Dynamics
Chart: JATO Dynamics

The Volkswagen Golf remains the market leading model, with a 5.8 percent increase in
February sales, followed by the Polo in second place with 7.2 percent more units sold following last year’s facelift. The Renault Clio (up 1.9 percent) took third place, ahead of the Ford Fiesta (down 1.5 percent) and Peugeot 208 (down 2.7 percent), according to JATO Dynamics.

Volkswagen’s new Passat increased sales by 63.8 percent year-on-year compared to its predecessor last February, to record a year-to-date increase of 44.0 percent, making it the most improved performer across both measures among the top 10 models, according to JATO Dyanmics.

Outside the top 10, the Opel/Vauxhall Mokka recorded a 66.6-percent increase, due to growing demand for small crossovers; while the new Mercedes-Benz C-Class increased sales by 53.4 percent compared to February 2014 the new Renault Twingo sold 132 percent more units than its predecessor managed in February 2014. However sales increases for the month were not limited to new or facelifted models, as demonstrated by the Fiat 500 (up 12.8 percent) and SEAT Ibiza (up 22.4 percent), according to the JATO Dynamics research.

“Car buyer confidence has remained strong across Europe through February,” Said Brian Walters, vice president of Data at JATO Dynamics. “New models have brought customers into showrooms, and attractive offers have maintained demand for many existing models. We wait to see if this momentum can be maintained in the months to come, following a successful Geneva Motor Show and the prospective launch of new models.”

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