European car market has hit a nine-year high with a strong performance in July, as a total of 1.31 million cars were registered, the highest monthly volume since July 2009 when 1.29m million cars were registered.
The market was boosted by increased demand in Spain and France, as well as double-digit growth in midsize markets like the Netherlands, Austria and Poland. UK registrations went into reverse, however.
The results were also boosted by an extra selling day in the month compared to July 2017, and the upcoming deadline to register cars under the existing NEDC emissions regulations may also have had an impact by accelerating the purchase process.
“The results from July are certainly positive and a clear sign that the market is recovering well, despite the current challenges it faces over diesel and CO2 regulations,omments Felipe Munoz, JATO’s Global Analyst.
“Although these results are encouraging, part of the growth could potentially be explained by more consumers and dealers buying cars before the WLTP test process is extended to cover all new car registrations on 1st September. It will be interesting to see how the market performs in August, and whether this confirms the theory.”
The SUV segment once again benefited from the increase in consumer demand. As has been the case for many months, demand for SUVs continued to grow throughout July, as their volume increased by 34% to 461,900 units. This means they accounted for 35.3% of total registrations across Europe for the month – a new record.
Compact models have dominated but the percentage of smaller SUVs is growing, said JATO.
Volkswagen dominated the European market again, mostly due its new SUVs coming into showrooms, while the Golf was easily the best selling model and Polo was second.
In Britain, a modest 1.4% increase was noted but year to date they have declined over 5%.