The big European turn-around that appeared to finally have collected enough courage in the past two months, already ran out of steam in November. Sales across the EU were up a mere 1.4 percent in November, Europe’s manufacturer association ACEA reports. What little growth there is more or less goes on account of Mediterranean countries where new cars sales pretty much had come to a halt last year during the financial crisis.
Spain was up 17.4 percent, Portugal 32.6 percent, Italy 5 percent in November. The disconcerting part is that healthy Germany was down 1.8 percent, France was down 2.7 percent. Business climate is still good in Germany, real estate prices are high, interest and unemployment are low. If that can’t invigorate a new car market, doubts about an end of the doldrums arise.
On top of the not so great news comes the fact that many of these sales exist only in the books. About a third of the cars reported as sold in Germany were registered by automakers or dealers.
Among the manufacturers, Volkswagen group keeps outperforming the market, resulting in a huge 26.5 percent market share in November. This share comes at a price. A Polo can be had at 34 percent discount, a Golf at 24 percent off. BMW and Mercedes had a strong November. GM Group is very weak. Opel’s self-registrations were at 45.5 percent.