The European car industry continued its strong start to 2018, with volume up by 4.2% in February as 1.16 million cars were registered, 50,000 more than in February 2017.
The results mark the highest February volume since 2008, when 1.19 million cars were registered, as well as constituting the highest Year To Date volume since 2008, with 2.44 million units registered in Europe in 2018 so far.
The UK recorded the steepest decline YTD of 5.1% after a drop of 28% in February.
This growth can be attributed to key markets such as Germany, Spain and France, as well as five other markets (Croatia, Greece, Hungary, Estonia and Luxembourg), which posted double digit growth.
However, the performances of these markets offset volume declines in 13 other European markets. This suggests that future growth for the industry could be dependent on fewer European countries than previously.
SUVs were a key driver of growth in February, with the volume of vehicles registered up by 24.7% compared to the same month last year, meaning SUVs accounted for 33% of the total market in February. In contrast, the rest of the segments combined recorded a significant decline in volume of 3.6%.
Felipe Munoz, JATO’s Global Analyst said, “Diesel continues to decline and its market share fell to 39.5%, with volume falling by a significant 12.8 percentage points in February.
“This was largely caused by falling demand in Germany and the UK, where diesel vehicle registrations decreased by 19.2% and 23.5% respectively. Demand for petrol is continuing to grow as diesel declines – petrol registrations increased by 16% in February.
“Alternative-Fuelled-Vehicles were also able to take advantage of the decline of diesel, growing by 18.5%.”