September Car Sales Plunge in Europe

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The European Automobile Manufacturers Association (ACEA) on Wednesday reported new vehicle registration totals in the European Union for the month of September. Sales tumbled by 23.5% year over year in the month, primarily due to the September 1 implementation of new emissions and fuel-consumption testing procedures that drove sales much higher in July and August as automakers and dealers cleared out non-compliant vehicles.

Overall monthly sales totaled 1.09 million vehicles, and sales for the first nine months of 2018 totaled 11.95 million, an increase of 2.5% compared with the same period in 2017.

Over the prior three months, new registrations rose by 31.2% in August following a rise of 10.5% year over year in July and a 5.2% increase in June. September sales fell for nearly every automaker.

Of the Detroit Three, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V. (NYSE: FCAU) saw its August market share in the EU dip to 5.5% from 6.2% year over year. Unit sales totaled 60,400, down by 31.9%. Sales of the Fiat brand fell by 32.8%, while Jeep sales dropped by 8.5%.

Ford Motor Co. (NYSE: F) sold 77,936 units in September, a year-over-year decline of 13.7% for the month. The company’s September market share rang in at 7.1%, up from 6.3% last year.

General Motors Co. (NYSE: GM) has left the EU market and had sales of just 213 units in September. GM stopped selling vehicles in Europe in July of last year.

The top-selling maker in the EU is Volkswagen, which sold 171,963 vehicles in September, down 48% year over year for the month. VW’s market share for the month totaled 15.8%, down from 23.2% in September 2017.

PSA Group, makers of Peugeot and Citroen among other brands, posted a September sales decrease of 7.7% to 198,988 units. The company’s market share increased from 15.1% to 18.2%.

Renault Group posted a volume decline of 27% to 94,964 units in September, and its year-over-year share dropped from 9.1% to 8.7% in the month.

BMW Group’s market share increased in September from 7.6% a year ago to 9.1%. The company sold 99,371 units last month, down 8.6% compared with year-ago September sales of 108,690.

Daimler posted a market share increase last month, rising from 6.8% in September 2017 to 7.8%, with sales totaling 85,439 units. On a volume basis, sales fell 11.8% year over year.

Toyota Motor Corp. (NYSE: TM) posted a market share of 6.1% in September, up from 4.7% a year ago. Sales volume slipped by 1.2% to 66,681 units.

For the month of September, the United Kingdom was the volume leader with nearly 339,000 units sold (down 20.5% year over year for the month), followed by Germany with sales of more than 200,000 (down 30.5%), France with nearly 149,000 sales (down 12.8%),and the Italy with nearly 125,000 vehicles sold (down 25.4%).

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.