EU Jan-Sept car registrations up 8%, VW vehicle sales up a year after scandal

14 October 2016 13:09 Source:ICIS News

VW headquarters

LONDON (ICIS)--The EU’s automobile industry continued to boom in the first three quarters of the year, with passenger car registrations up 8% year on year, the European Automobile Manufacturers Association (ACEA) said on Friday, while German major Volkswagen (VW) Group posted an increase in passenger vehicle registrations of 3.2% over the period in spite of the diesel scandal.

In the key chemical-intensive market for passenger car vehicles, the 8% increase during the first nine months of the year in passenger car registrations meant 11,243,263 units were sold across the 28-country bloc, almost 800,000 units more than in the first three quarters of 2015.

September’s increase stood at 7.2%, year on year with 1,455,180 units registered across the EU, hinting the booming period the automobile industry is going through is still at full steam.

“The overall increase through the first three-quarters of the year showed the market’s ongoing recovery with all of the big five markets posting solid growth rates,” said ACEA.

“Italy (17.4%) and Spain (11.5%) recorded double-digit growth over the period, followed by Germany (6.1%), France (5.7%) and the UK (2.6%).” 

Some of the increase in Germany’s passenger car registrations during the period came from its flagship automotive major VW Group, which a year ago was embedded into its worst crisis ever after the US environmental authorities uncovered a large-scale manipulation of diesel emissions tests in that country, causing the CEO resignation.

Analysts at the time were certain the scandal would hit VW’s operations and even the ‘German brand’ itself, potentially delivering a blow to the largest exporter of manufactured goods in the EU.

One year on, however, VW has seen an increase in passenger vehicles sold of  3.2% for the January-September period, while September registrations rose by 5.2% year on year for the automaker, according to ACEA data. The rise was less pronounced than other the uplift seen by other major European manufacturers, with Renault's registrations for the period rising 12.9% compared to the first nine months of 2015, and FCA Group registrations rising 15.7%.

The company has lost market share as per EU total passenger car vehicles, but continues to be the largest group with almost a quarter of the total market.

From a market share of 24.9% during the first three quarter of 2015, it decreased to 23.8% during this year, but the figure remains far from its two direct competitors, French majors PSA Group and Renault Group, with 10% of market share each.

EU new passenger car registrations
ACEA statistics
Source: ACEA

Pictured above: VW Group’s headquarters in Wolfsburg, Germany
Source: Walter G. Allgower/imageBROKER/REX/Shutterstock

By Jonathan Lopez