Car sales in Europe continue to decline with sales down 9.6% in January 2013 and the top-selling VW Golf down by 17.8%.
In fact, the UK was the only top five market to increase sales, with Germany down 8.6 per cent, France down 15.1 per cent, Italy down 17.6 per cent and Spain 9.2 per cent. Other notable drops included the Netherlands which saw a huge drop of 30.4 per cent, partly driven by tighter emission boundaries on company car taxation.
The VW Golf managed to keep its title of ‘Best Selling Car in Europe’ despite a drop in sales of 17.8 per cent (which could be down to availability of the new Golf Mk 7) and the only top 10 car makers to record an increase in sales were Opel/Vauxhall, BMW and Mercedes (although Jaguar Land Rover saw a big rise in car sales in January too – they’re just not in the European top ten).
These figures come from JATO, and JATO’s Gareth Hession said:
The new year has not seen any renewed demand for new cars in much of Europe. The market remains challenging and highly competitive.
He went on to comment on the B Segment cars in the top sales chart (the Ford Fiesta, VW Polo, Renault Clio and Peugeot 208 took the next four places behind the VW Golf ):
The B-segment is one of the most competitive in the European market. Recent product actions such as facelift Fiesta and the introduction of the Clio 4 and the 208 have added to the strength of this segment. With the Fiesta, Polo, Clio and 208 all selling such similar volumes, we anticipate the lead of this segment will change regularly during 2013.
But it’s all pretty much doom and gloom for car sales across mainland Europe.