February European Auto Sales Drop for Sixth Consecutive Month

March 15, 2019 by Paul Ausick

The European Automobile Manufacturers Association (ACEA) on Friday reported new vehicle registration totals in the European Union for the month of January. Sales declined by 1% year over year in the month. Registrations (sales) fell for the sixth consecutive month.

Sales dropped 2.9% month over month. Sales results were mixed in the EU’s five major markets: Spain, down 8.4%; Italy, down 4.9%; the United Kingdom, down 0.6%; Germany, up 0.6%; and France, up 0.5%.

Of the Detroit Three, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V. (NYSE: FCAU) saw its February market share in the EU dip from 7.4% in 2018 to 7.1%. Unit sales totaled 78,850, down by 5.3% year over year. Sales of the Fiat brand fell by 11.5%, while Jeep sales jumped by 35%.

Ford Motor Co. (NYSE: F) sold 69,642 units in February, also a year-over-year decline of 5.3% for the month. The company’s February market share rang in at 6.2%, down from 6.6% a year ago.

General Motors Co. (NYSE: GM) left the European auto market in 2017.

The top-selling maker in the EU is Volkswagen, which sold 271,477 vehicles in February, down 0.7% year over year for the month. VW’s market share for the month totaled 24.4%, up from 24.3% in February 2018.

PSA Group, makers of Peugeot and Citroen among other brands, posted a February sales increase of 1% to 195,658 units. The company’s market share increased from 17.2% to 17.6% for the month.

Renault Group posted a volume increase of 0.3% to 120,084 units in February and its year-over-year share increased from 10.6% to 10.8%.

BMW Group’s market share dropped year over year from 5.7% to 5.6% in February. The company sold 62,518 units last month, down by 3.3% compared with year-ago February sales of 64,654.

Daimler posted a market share increase last month, rising from 5.6% in February 2018 to 5.9%, with sales totaling 65,780 units. On a volume basis, sales rose by 5% year over year.

Toyota Motor Corp. (NYSE: TM) posted market share of 4.6% in January, down by 0.1 percentage points compared with a year ago. Sales volume dropped by 2.2% to 51,734 units.

For the month of February, Germany was the volume leader with more than 268,000 units sold, up 2.7% year over year for the month. Volume in Italy fell by 2.4% to 177,825 while sales in France rose 2.1% to 172,438. In the United Kingdom, monthly sales increased by 1.4% to 81,969 units.

For all of 2018, EU sales totaled 15.16 million, up just 0.1% from sales of 15.14 million in 2017.

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