The European Car Market saw some green shoots in the month of April, bringing an end to an 18-months of rough patch. The car registration for EU-27 recorded a 1.7% growth in April as against same month last year. But according to the European Automobile Manufacturers Association the improvement is mainly due to the fact that April had two more business days in this calendar year than last year. But the question still remains if this is a sign of the end of torrid times for the European Car Market since 2007.
Cara McLaughlin, a spokeswoman for the European Automobile Manufacturers Association, said that because the Easter holiday fell in March this year instead of April as in 2012 and even with the extra days the year-over-year comparison was underwhelming, as car sales in April 2012 in the European Union were the worst on record for that month.
“In 2009 German Government had introduced a subsidy scheme to promote sales by urging clients to exchange their old cars with new ones, which has effectively increased sales during that time ” Mr Matin Scheiber, ACG analyst Munich.
Top 10 Car Markets – Europe 2012
The sales figures for calendar year 2012 saw a decline of over a million units as against 2011. Germany, a dominant automotive market not only in Europe but also on a global perspective, suffered a negative growth of 2.9% as against 2011. Italy and Spain suffered steep declines with 19.8% and 13.42% de-growths respectively. However UK the second largest European market witnessed a growth of 5.32%. Also among the top 10 markets Switzerland posted a 2.9% increase in sales as compared to 2011, thus joining UK in the category.
The Volkswagen Group continues the monopoly in Europe with a market share of 23.57%. The Saxoner’s consistent success of Volkswagen is due to the fact that they have atleast one brand in every segment, Skoda – low cost, Volkswagen economy class, Audi – Premium Class, Porsche in Luxury or Sportive, Lamborghini in super luxury. PSA Group which holds 11.71% market share hangs on to the second position. Interestingly European brands are most preferred by consumers while the Japanese has some success in East Europe and Chinese players have very little influence in the continent.
Top 5 Brands, EU27
Volkswagen Golf is Europe’s most preferred brand. It is also VW’s bestselling brand globally. The high acceptance of Golf is mainly due to its product positioning. Ford Focus, Renault Megane, VW Polo and Ford Fiesta completes the top 5.
Much of the downfall is due to the prevailing economic conditions in the continent. According to the statistics by European Commission, there is a steep fall in GDP growth since 2011. Even though the inflation is low, the overall economic condition has worsened by climbing unemployment. Definitely the rise in unemployment is the core reason for the fall in passenger vehicle sales.
Offers by major players:
To battle the tough situations, manufacturers had came up with flexible schemes to boost their sales numbers. Now lets take a look at the offers laid by some of the major players in Germany.
Interestingly Mazda is offering "Null Down-payment" and "Null Percent Interest", to much joy for a buyer the EMI starts at just 75€ per month. And the vehicle cost starts at around 11,690 € .
The luxury segment leader Audi is also having difficulties to sell of during these times. Well , take a look at this offer , € 16,550 and an EMI offer of 169 €. Yes you heard it right. Isn't it good when you can buy an Audi for around 10 lakhs Rs ?.
In order to increase sales, OEM are busy introducing new models. Peugeot is ready to launch some new small and compact cars. Peugeot is launching 208 small car, 2008 compact sport-utility vehicle and a new version of the 308 coming out by end of 2013 to compete with Volkswagen AG’s best selling Golf hatchback which is market leader in Europe with more than 4% market share. Mercedes Benz has launched its new E-Class car with a different body style.
View a snapshot of our European Passenger Vehicle Analysis @ http://www.autobei.com/analysis/bycategory/0/7