Europe to grow in 2018, shrink in 2019
Analyst IHS Markit has been looking at car sales in Europe at the beginning of this year, and making predictions for the whole of the year and for 2019. It starts by saying that the passenger car market in the European Union has made a positive start to 2018 with registrations having grown by 7.1% year on year in January. According to the latest data published by the European Automobile Manufacturers' Association (ACEA), registrations during the month increased from 1,170,256 units to 1,253,877 units.
Registrations in the EU last month were supported by gains in four of the big five markets in the region. The German market remained the largest in terms of volume at 269,429 units, which amounted to an impressive 11.6% gain. Another significant gainer last month was Spain, where the market increased by 20.3% to 101,661 units. France and Italy were up by 2.5% to 156,846 units and 3.4% to 177,822 units, respectively. The exception to this improvement was the United Kingdom, where the market declined for the 10th month in succession in January, this time falling by 6.3% to 163,615 units.
Outside these key markets, the growth trend was generally positive, even for those markets that had already reached high levels, such as Austria, Belgium, Denmark, and Poland. Other markets remained in a recovery phase, such as Greece and some in Central Europe. Nevertheless, there were also some markets that retreated, which in some cases were likely to be one-offs (Portugal) and in others part of an ongoing trend (Ireland).
In the light of these figures and of the general situation, IHS Markit thus anticipates that passenger car growth in the EU during this year will be around 1.1% to 15.34 million units, before sliding back again during 2019.