August a good month for Western Europe car sales

The Western European passenger car market enjoyed a strong month in August in what is traditionally one of the quietest months of the sales year, posting a reasonably strong uplift in August of 9.7 per cent y/y to 776,861 units, according to the latest IHS Automotive Western European forecast.

It should be taken into account that most markets benefited from one extra working day during the month, which is also traditionally one of the quietest sales months in Western Europe as a result of the August holiday period, with a seasonally adjusted figure in the region of 5 per cent.

For the YTD, sales remain on a positive development with volumes up 9,321,060, an increase of 7.3 per cent y/y. For the full year the latest IHS Automotive forecast for passenger car sales for Western Europe stands at 13.8 million units, which translates to an increase of 4.7 per cent y/y.

Looking at the individual markets, Germany posted another positive result in August with sales rising by 8.3 per cent y/y to 245,076 units. For the first eight months of the year, sales rose 5.7 per cent y/y to 2,257,781 units.

France saw a rise in passenger car sales of 6.7 per cent y/y to 98,217 units, although this was with an additional working day, so the gain was actually just 1.9 per cent once the calendar effect is taken into account. The improvement this month has helped maintain the rate of growth in the year to date (YTD) which now stands at 7.0 per cent y/y to 1,598,272 units.

The Italian passenger car market recorded an increase in registrations during August of 20.1 per cent y/y. Sales during the month increased from 59,587 in August 2015 to 71,576 units. The market is likely to have benefited from an additional working day during the month – 22 versus 21 during August 2015. The gain during the month helped lift the YTD increase to 17.4 per cent y/y to 1,251,806 units.

The Spanish passenger car market also put in a very solid performance last month, according to the latest data published by ANFAC. Registrations grew by 14.6 per cent y/y to 64,089 units, helped by an additional working day. Overall, this helped to maintain the momentum in the YTD: sales were up 11.3 per cent y/y to 794,629 units in January–August.

UK passenger car demand increased by 3.3 per cent year on year (y/y) in August to 81,640 units. This performance was driven by fleet demand, with registrations having grown by 7.7 per cent y/y to 43,267 units, equating to a market share of 53.0 per cent. Overall, year-to-date registrations for the passenger car market now stand at 1,680,799 units, an increase of 2.8 per cent over the first eight months of 2015.

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