ACEA: European car sales up 9.3% in 2015

ACEA European passenger car registrations figures show the market grew 9.3 per cent year-on-year to 13.71 million units in 2015, helped by a 16.6 per cent year-on-year jump in December. Future growth is not expected to continue at this rate because the market situation is said to be “still evolving”, “risky” and “volatile”. As a result analysts predict 2.5 per cent year-on-year growth during the next month.

IHS Automotive analysts described the growth result as  “…a strong year for the European market, which outperformed expectations thanks to economic improvement, better macro conditions, and a natural catch-up process after the longest sales downturn Europe has ever suffered; and the benefits of artificial support from government stimulus packages, OEM incentives and the use of tactical sales.”

Registrations during the year increased from 12,551,204 units to 13,713,526 units. The December gain of 16.6 per cent year-on-year equates to 1,109,927 units. In addition, in the European Free Trade Agreement (EFTA) area – comprising Iceland, Norway and Switzerland – registrations grew by 7.2 per cent year-on-year in 2015 to 488,498 units, with registrations in December up 1.4 per cent year-on-year to 46,562 units.

The growth momentum this year was underpinned by all the key players in the market place. The UK market continued its strong performance with a fourth consecutive annual increase, a record- gain of 6.3 per cent year-on-year. Leading markets Germany and France have also seen a positive single-digit percentage growth performance in 2015. Italy and Spain recorded gains of 15.8 per cent year-on-year and 20.9 per cent year-on-year respectively. These figures have to be read in context of what IHS called an “exceptionally low base of comparisons” and Spain has also been supported by government-backed scrapping incentives again, will remain in place during early 2016.

Meanwhile, the Netherlands is benefiting from a pull-forward due to impending tax changes, and in Sweden registrations are powering ahead on positive economic factors. Others have included Ireland, Portugal and a host of markets in Central Europe, which are continuing to record improvements following the Eurozone economic downturn and the low base of comparison.

Whichever way you look at it, it was a good year for the European automotive industry in general and the UK automotive market in particular. And, of course, this means greater numbers of more modern OE tyres were also sold to fit these new cars and will later be required in the replacement market.


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