Ford, Chrysler 2019 European Sales Falter

The European Automobile Manufacturers Association (ACEA) on Thursday reported new vehicle registration totals in the European Union for the month of December and for all of 2018. Registrations (the EU’s proxy for sales) improved by 21.7% year over year in the month.

Sales rose year over year for the fourth consecutive month and posted their largest gain of the year. The ACEA noted that December 2018 was an easy comparison because year-over-year sales fell by 8.4% from December 2017 sales.

Full-year sales totaled 15.34 million vehicles, up 1.2% from 2018 sales of 15.16 million. Soaring sales in France (up 27.7% in December) along with the Netherlands (113.9%) and Sweden (109.3%) drove monthly sales for the EU to 1.22 million, compared with just under 999,000 in December of 2018. The difference of about 230,000 units sold in December is greater than the 180,000 unit-difference in total year-over-year sales.

Of the Detroit Two that still sell vehicles in Europe, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V. (NYSE: FCAU) saw its December market share in the EU slip from 6% in 2018 to 5.6%. Unit sales totaled 97,944, up by 13.8% year over year. Sales of the Fiat brand jumped by 25.5%, while Jeep sales fell by 9%. For the year, FCA held EU market share of 6.1%, down from 6.6% in 2018, on sales of 928,873 units, a 7.3% year-over-year decline.

Ford Motor Co. (NYSE: F) sold 74,049 units in December, a year-over-year increase of 19.5% for the month. The company’s December market share rang in at 6.1%, down from 6.2% a year ago. For the year, Ford sales fell by 1.3% to 948,057 units, and the company’s market share dropped from 6.3% to 6.2%.

The top-selling automaker in the EU is Volkswagen, which sold 277,930 vehicles in December, up 21.1% year over year for the month. For the full year, VW sold 3.74 million vehicles in the EU, an increase of 3.1% in volume. Full-year market share rose from 23.9% in 2018 to 24.3%.

PSA Group, makers of Peugeot and Citroen, among other brands, posted a December sales decrease of 2.2% to 154,047 units. The company’s market share dropped from 15.8% to 12.7% for the month and from 16.2% to 15.9% for the year. PSA sold 2.43 million vehicles in 2019, a year-over-year decline of 1.1%.

Renault Group posted a volume increase of 23.1% to 144,835 units in December, and its year-over-year share inched up from 11.8% to 11.9%. For the full year, volume rose by 1.1%, while the company’s market share was flat at 10.6%.

BMW Group’s market share slipped year over year 8% in December 2018 to 7.6%. The company sold 92,861 units last month, up by 16.4% compared with year-ago December sales of 79,776. For the full year, BMW’s share rose from 6.5% in 2018 to 6.6%, and unit sales rose by 1.7% to 1.01 million.

Daimler posted a market share decrease last month, slipping from 7.3% in December 2018 to 7.1%, with sales totaling 86,562 units. On a volume basis, sales rose 19.5% year over year. For the full year, volume increased by 5.3% and the company’s market share increased from 6.2% in 2018 to 6.4%.

Toyota Motor Corp. (NYSE: TM) posted market share of 4.4% in December, flat with a year ago. Sales volume rose by 21.7% to 53,115 units. For the full year, Toyota sales rose 4.9% and its market share rose from 4.8% to 5%.

The EU country with the most sales in 2019 was Germany, where 3.61 million new vehicles were sold, an increase of 5% compared to 2018 sales. The United Kingdom posted 2019 sales of 2.37 million units, a year-over-year decline of 2.4%, and sales in France improved by 1.9% to 2.21 million units in 2019. Sales in Spain dropped 2.4% to 2.31 million units, and Italian sales rose 0.3% to 1.92 million. No other EU nation topped a million units sold.