Western Europe Small Passenger Car Registration Share Rises in 2009
One of the more widely anticipated effects of the car scrappage schemes popular in Europe as stimuli for the industry in 2009 was the increase in market share of A and B-segment small cars (exemplified by Ford’s Fiesta and Ka, Fiat’s 500 and Panda and Volkswagen’s Polo and Fabia). Data released by Deutsche Bank analysts shows that the predicted swing transpired to a significant degree – these small cars comprised 45 per cent of 2009’s registrations in the zone, compared with 39 per cent in 2008. In terms of passenger car tyres, it seems the trend must follow in Western Europe, though we predict the general growth in small car rim-sizes will mitigate this factor somewhat.
Returning to DB’s report, all countries within Western Europe – with the exception of Greece – posted an increase in the small car segment of the market. Germany was the big mover, with small car penetration shifting 10 per cent upwards. This only tells part of the story, since sales in the segment saw an improvement of 70 per cent in year on year comparisons. The analysts believe that the boost experienced by German market volumes in 2009 was largely generated by small cars, which made up 84 per cent of the improvement. France, Italy and the UK all saw significant upward movement in the segment too, while Spanish small cars registered only a 1 per cent improvement in market share.
Meanwhile lower medium (C-segment) cars’ and executive PCs’ (E) shares were down in almost all countries (Austria was the only country in Western Europe to resist the C-segment downward trend). Upper medium PCs’ (D) penetration was mixed, possibly becoming a middle ground for the traditional executive segment consumers. France (32 to 28 per cent), the UK (33 to 30) and Italy (21 to 19) all saw the largest falls in the C-segment, while Germany had the greatest year-on-year drops in its D (19 to 15 per cent) and E (18 to 13) segments, compared with 2008.