European Auto Sales Rise 7.1% in January; Ford Pulling Even With FCA

Paul Ausick

The European Automobile Manufacturers Association (ACEA) reported Thursday that new vehicle registrations in the European Union (EU) jumped by 7.1% in January, compared with new registrations in January of 2017. New registrations for the month totaled 1.25 million units. New registrations fell by 4.9% in December.

In the month of January, Germany was the volume leader, with more than 269,000 units sold, followed by Italy with sales of more than 177,000, the United Kingdom with sales of nearly 164,000 and France with sales of about 157,000. Except for U.K. sales, which were down 6.3% year over year for the month, they all posted year-over-year gains.

EU sales totaled 15.14 million units in 2017, compared with 2016 sales for the 27 EU members of 14.64 million, up 3.4% compared with 2016 unit sales.

The top-selling maker in the EU is Volkswagen, which sold 308,353 vehicles in January, up 9.2% year over year for the month. VW’s market share for the month totaled 24.6%, up from 24.1% in January 2017.

PSA Group, makers of Peugeot and Citroen, among other brands, posted a January sales increase of 73.4% to 207,984 units. The company’s market share rose from 10.3% to 16.6%. The increase includes sales in the Opel/Vauxhall group the company acquired from General Motors Co. (NYSE: GM) in 2017.

Renault Group posted a volume increase of 9.5% to 116,559 units in January, while its year-over-year share rose from 9.1% to 9.3%.

Of the Detroit Three, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V. (NYSE: FCAU) saw its market share in the EU dip from 7.1% in January 2017 to 6.7% this year. Unit sales totaled 83,547. Sales of the Fiat brand dropped 5.7%, while Jeep sales jumped 67.3%.

Ford Motor Co. (NYSE: F) sold 83,401 units in January, up 2.1% year over year. The company’s January market share came to 6.7%, down 0.3 percentage points compared with last year.

GM has effectively left the EU market and had sales of just 175 units in January. Last January, before the company sold its European subsidiary to PSA, GM sold nearly 75,000 units.

BMW Group’s market share dipped in January from 5.9% a year ago to 5.8%. The company sold 73,198 units last month, up 5.5% compared with year-ago January sales of 69,387.

Daimler also posted a market share drop, slipping from 6.0% in January 2017 to 5.8% last month, with sales totaling 72,119 units. On a volume basis, sales rose 3%.

Toyota Motor Corp. (NYSE: TM) posted market share of 5.3% in January, up from 5.2% a year ago. Sales volume rose 9.6% to 66,156 units.