Peak car in EU? Bacon saved by former basket cases

Is peak car reaching Europe? EU car sales took 10 long years to slowly claw back towards pre-crisis levels, and now, the downer: In September, passenger car registrations dropped 2% across the common market, says Europe’s auto manufacturer association ACEA.

Remember how Europe’s southern periphery seemed sick for many years? Interestingly, Europe’s former basket cases are now the bright spots. All over the South, healthy improvements are reported. Passenger vehicles sales in formerly near-dead Greece, for instance, were up nearly 30% in September.

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Are Volkswagen’s Sales Lagging, Or Does VW Suddenly Cheat Less?


EU new passenger car registrations were up a strong 14.3% in February, Europe’s auto manufacturer association ACEA said today. Ever since dieselgate, these numbers have attracted interest far beyond the usual crowd of auto marketers, economists, and analysts. The big question is: Does dieselgate influence Volkswagen sales in a serious way?  The Sunday Times went as far and asked:  “Could the scandal really destroy VW?”  Let’s have a look.

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EU New Passenger Car Market Grows 6.2% In January

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The European new passenger market continued its slow recovery in January, printing a 6.2% increase over January 2015. As in many previous months, most of the growth was in the southern reaches of Europe. New car registration grew 17.4% in Italy, and 12.1% in Spain. In the northern parts of the region, the French market grew 3.9%, the German 3.3%, while the UK market grew 2.9%, data published by the European auto manufacturer association ACEA show.

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Mini Vehicles A Big Pain In Japan, Drag Down January Registrations

Japan - Picture courtesy Bertel Schmitt

The new year did not bring a change to the current downtrend in Japanese auto sales. Registrations across all segments were found down 4.6%, once data reported by various industry associations were consolidated. Again, the market was dragged down by continued weakness among a Japanese peculiarity, mini vehicles.

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Data here.

World’s Largest Automakers: Toyota outdistances Volkswagen

Akio Toyoda TMS 2015 2 - picture courtesy Bertel Schmitt

Only a miracle could help Volkswagen reach its goal of becoming the world’s largest automaker this year, and miracles are in short supply in Wolfsburg. With October data by Toyota in, it looks like VW will miss its goal by more than 200,000 units when this year’s race is over. [Continue Reading]

#dieselgate costs VW market share. Does it really?

clean diesel

Today, Europe’s auto manufacturer association ACEA published EU new passenger car registration data for October. Overall EU registrations were up 2.9 percent in the month, but that wasn’t what observers were looking for. A mere 75 seconds after ACEA released the numbers, Bloomberg hit the wire, pronouncing that “VW’s European Market Share Falls in First Month of Scandal.” Later, “falls” was edited to “slips.” Volkswagen’s group sales were down a mere 0.2 percent in the month. Was it due to dieselgate? The proof is far from conclusive, and the facts deserve at least a few minutes of closer inspection. [Continue Reading]

Weak kei cars continue to dampen Japanese new car registrations

Japan roads October - Picture courtesy Bertel Schmitt

Japanese new car registrations remained in negative territory in October, as pulled-forward mini vehicle sales are still not quite digested. [Continue Reading]

EU new car buyers unfazed by #dieselgate, and we are not surprised

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The EU new passenger car market recovered at a solid clip in September, with registrations up 9.8 percent across the EU. Nearly all markets reported solid gains, Italy was up 17.2 percent, and Spain 22.5 percent. Among the manufacturers, Volkswagen Group, up 8.4 percent, slightly underperformed the market. However, observers from the Wall Street Journal to Bloomberg were surprised to see people still buying cars from scandal-ridden Volkswagen. The car business just isn’t that simple. [Continue Reading]