November 20, 2012: According to the latest analysis from JATO Dynamics, the leading provider of automotive intelligence, the overall European new car market continues to fall in 2012 but at a slower rate.
JATO’s key findings:
• The European new car market declined by 4.6% in October.
• Great Britain recorded the largest rise in sales out of the ‘Big Five’, with sales up 12.1% in October and 5.0% Year-to-Date, Germany also saw a 0.5% increase in sales last month.
• Continuing low consumer confidence and high unemployment compounded by the recent increase in VAT have contributed to the continuous decline in The Netherlands.
• Among the top 10 brands, only Audi and Mercedes recorded a sales increase in October.
• Peugeot’s new 208 performs well as it climbs into the top three behind Volkswagen’s Golf and Ford’s Fiesta.
Volkswagen’s Golf continues to lead the European new car market in October, as it transitions to the seventh-generation model.
Audi, up 9.8 percent in October and 5.5 percent YtD, and Mercedes-Benz, up 3.7 percent in October and 1.0 percent YtD, are the only brands in the top 10 recording increasing sales. Just outside the top 10 sales of Toyota, Hyundai, Kia and Volvo cars are also growing.
The new Peugeot 208 (pictured above) is proving popular with customers across the region, selling in greater numbers than its predecessor, the 207, did a year ago, despite tougher market conditions. Meanwhile the new Fiat Panda is defying market trends in Italy, leading to a 23.9 percent increase in sales in Europe in October. Sales of the Fiat 500, while outside the Top 10, also rose in October, by 15.4 percent.
The Nissan Qashqai continues to prove that older models can still post strong sales given the right marketing and product improvements, with volumes in October 15.7 percent higher than a year ago, and a place in the top 10.
Outside the top 10 it was mostly new or recently revised models, such as the BMW 3-series, Toyota Yaris, Mercedes-Benz B-class, Volkswagen Tiguan, Volkswagen Up and BMW 1-series that saw improved sales compared to October 2011.
Commenting on the findings, Gareth Hession, vice-president, Research at JATO, said: “The rising sales in Great Britain and Germany show some signs of hope for the European car industry, but the industry must not be complacent. Market conditions are still tough, particularly in southern Europe and the Golf’s dominance remains evident for its competitors.”