Led by strong growth in Spain and Italy, new car registrations in Europe’s Big 5 markets grew by 8.6% to 958,400 units in April 2016.
After the UK’s traditional volume peak in March, which saw registrations rise to 1.36 million, April produced further gains across the top five European markets with SUVs driving higher volume and counting for 24.4% and 24.9% of April’s and YTD’s totals respectively.
The Seasonally Adjusted Annual Rate (SAAR) came in at 11.35 million, up from March registrations of 11.04 million and significantly higher than the 10.48 million in April 2015.
Germany continued to lead the market, with volume up by 8.4% at 315,900 units, accounting for a third of the Big 5’s total. After a relatively flat March, April saw registrations grow healthily, bringing the YTD total to 1.11 million units, up by 5.6% over January-April 2015. Impressively, April’s volume for Germany was the highest since 2009.
The UK also saw positive growth – despite only seeing a 2.0% rise on April 2015, last month was the best April for UK car registrations for a decade. The UK total was 7,000 units higher than the total recorded in France, where the registrations advanced by 7.1% at 182,800 vehicles – the best April result in France since 2010.
However, the largest growth figures were recorded in Italy and Spain, where April’s volumes grew by 12.3% and 20.7% respectively. While Italy moderated its growth, after an 18% rise in January, followed by 28% in February and 18% in March, Spain returned to positive growth after a 1% decrease posted in March.
Volkswagen led the brand leader board, recording 12.2% market share at 116,400 units. However, its volume grew by only 3.1% over April 2015, leading to a market share loss of 0.66 percentage points compared to April 2015 – the largest market share fall of all the brands.