EU New-Car Sales Have Best April Since 2008 Financial Crisis – Wall Street Journal

Posted: Friday, May 13, 2016

Volkswagen remained the largest single manufacturer, but its market share slipped to 12% from 12.7% in April 2015.

FRANKFURT—New-car sales in the European Union rose 9.1% to 1.3 million in April, the highest level since before the financial crisis hit, the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association said on Friday.

“This is the highest result in volume terms since April 2008, just before the economic crisis hit the automotive industry, ” the association, known as ACEA, said in its monthly release.

Volkswagen AG


, still coping with the fallout of its emissions-cheating scandal, remained the largest single manufacturer but continued to shed market share in April. The data show the Volkswagen-brand market share slipping to 12% from 12.7% in April 2015.

The ACEA figures show that Europeans snapped up luxury cars in April, with sales of Daimler AG


’s Mercedes-branded cars up 23%, and Volkswagen subsidiary Audi


and BMW AG


notching low double-digit new-car registrations, a mirror of sales.

Germany and Spain sales rose again after falling slightly in March, when the timing of Easter shrunk the number of available sales days.  Spain also rose the most strongly among the markets that chalk up most sales, followed by Italy, Germany, France and the U.K.

Sales in the U.K., up just 2%, appear to be slowing ahead of the June 23 EU membership referendum. U.K. consumer confidence fell in April to its lowest level in more than a year, with Britons more concerned about their prospects amid a debate over the country’s future in the EU, market research firm GfK said in April.


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