April European Auto Sales Slide for Eighth Consecutive Month

Paul Ausick

The European Automobile Manufacturers Association (ACEA) on Friday reported new vehicle registration totals in the European Union for the month of April. Sales declined by 0.4% year over year in the month. Registrations (sales) fell for the eighth consecutive month, but the April decline was the smallest over that eight-month period.

Sales are down 2.6% for the first four months of 2019, compared with the same period a year ago. Sales results were mixed in the EU’s five major markets: Spain, up 2.6%; Italy, up 1.5%; France, up 0.4%; the United Kingdom, down 4.1%; and Germany, down 1.1%.

Of the Detroit Three, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V. (NYSE: FCAU) saw its April market share in the EU dip from 6.9% in 2018 to 6.7%. Unit sales totaled 87,050, down by 5.3% year over year. Sales of the Alfa Romeo brand fell by 41.5%, while Jeep sales slumped 6.0%.

Ford Motor Co. (NYSE: F) sold 80,430 units in April, a year-over-year decline of 4.8% for the month. The company’s April market share rang in at 6.2%, down from 6.5% 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 323,832 vehicles in April, down 3.7% year over year for the month. VW’s market share for the month totaled 24.8%, down from 25.7% in April 2018.

PSA Group, makers of Peugeot and Citroen among other brands, posted an April sales increase of 1.5% to 215,382 units. The company’s market share increased from 16.2% to 16.5% for the month.

Renault Group posted a volume increase of 1.8% to 143,123 units in April, and its year-over-year share increased from 10.7% to 11%.

BMW Group’s market share rose year over year from 5.8% to 6.2% in April. The company sold 81,181 units last month, up by 7.7% compared with year-ago April sales of 75,356.

Daimler also posted a market share increase last month, rising from 5.9% in April 2018 to 6.3%, with sales totaling 81,724 units. On a volume basis, sales rose by 5.4% year over year.

Toyota Motor Corp. (NYSE: TM) posted a market share of 4.9% in April, up by 0.1 percentage points compared with a year ago. Sales volume rose by 2.7% to 64,302 units.

For the month of April, Germany was the volume leader with more than 310,000 units sold, down from more than 314,000 year over year for the month. Volume in Italy rose from 171,887 to 174,412, while sales in France rose 0.4% from 187,390 to 188,196. In the United Kingdom, monthly sales dropped by 4.1% from 167,911 to 161,064 units, and sales in Spain rose by 2.6% from 116,433 to 119,417.

EU sales for the first four months of 2019 total 5.34 million, down from 5.48 million for the first four months of 2018. For all of 2018, EU sales totaled 15.16 million, up just 0.1% from sales of 15.14 million in 2017.