EU auto sales slide for 4th year in a row

Consumer demand

SHARE THIS STORY

EU autos Jan14Final data for EU auto sales has now been published, and is summarised in the chart above:

  • Sales fell for the 4th year in a row in 2013 (red square) to 11.8 million
  • This was a 2% fall versus 2012 (green line) and a cumulative 18% fall versus 2007’s peak
  • Only 2 countries, the UK and Spain, saw sales increase over the year
  • The other 3 major markets of Germany, France and Italy saw further declines

The 3% increase in Spain was due to yet another ‘cash-for-clunkers’ programme by the government.  Desperate to boost consumer spending and revive manufacturing, they are offering €1k ($1.3k) for every 7 – 10 year-old car that is scrapped and replaced by a new car costing less than €25k.

The reasons for the UK’s 11% increase were more complex:

  • Consumers have received a £14bn windfall ($23bn) since 2011 from claims for mis-selling of insurance policies
  • A large number of claimants have used the money as a down payment for a new car, or to fund the total price
  • Payments have averaged nearly £500m per month since the end of 2011
  • 2013 has seen £5.5bn of payments, which provided major support for car sales and consumer spending

As a result, the UK is now the 2nd largest EU market, with sales at 2.3m versus Germany’s 3m.  Back in 2009-10, UK sales were 300k lower at 2m.

Clearly these extra sales are a one-off event.  They will also presumably lead to lower sales in the future when the claims payments cease, as by then most adults will have replaced their old car with a new one.  And at the moment, it is hard to see what might happen in the rest of Europe to balance these lower UK sales.

PREVIOUS POST

US new car sales at highest level since 2007

16/01/2014

Final data for EU auto sales has now been published, and is summarised in the ch...

Learn more
NEXT POST

US markets see Happy Days again

20/01/2014

Final data for EU auto sales has now been published, and is summarised in the ch...

Learn more
More posts
$60bn opportunity opens up for plastics industry as need to eliminate single-use packaging grows
17/03/2019

150 businesses representing over 20% of the global plastic packaging market have now agreed to start...

Read
IKEA heads into the circular world with furniture subscription trial
10/02/2019

“Once upon a time, Granny and Grandad used to go to a large shop on the motorway to buy their ...

Read
Fed’s magic money tree hopes to overcome smartphone sales downturn and global recession risk
03/02/2019

Last November, I wrote one of my “most-read posts”, titled Global smartphone recession ...

Read
Global smartphone recession confirms consumer downturn
11/11/2018

Q3 smartphone sales data show the global market in recession, as Strategy Analytics confirmed: “Th...

Read
Trump’s auto trade war adds to US demographic and debt headwinds
06/08/2018

President Trump’s auto trade tariffs are bad news for the US and global auto industry, as the ...

Read
Plastics recycling paradigm shift will create Winners and Losers
17/06/2018

My new analysis for iCIS Chemical Business highlights the paradigm shift now underway in the plasti...

Read
Apple, Xiaomi squeeze smartphone mid-market as sales plateau
06/05/2018

The global smartphone market has finally gone ex-growth as China’s slowdown continues.  In tu...

Read
2018 will see Winners and Losers appear in plastics markets
01/04/2018

Two major challenges face petrochemical and polymer producers and consumers in 2018: The likely disr...

Read

Market Intelligence

ICIS provides market intelligence that help businesses in the energy, petrochemical and fertilizer industries.

Learn more

Analytics

Across the globe, ICIS consultants provide detailed analysis and forecasting for the petrochemical, energy and fertilizer markets.

Learn more

Specialist Services

Find out more about how our specialist consulting services, events, conferences and training courses can help your teams.

Learn more

ICIS Insight

From our news service to our thought-leadership content, ICIS experts bring you the latest news and insight, when you need it.

Learn more