The European market seems to recover after two years of recession and bad news for economy. 2015 though managed to be a great year for the European market as the car market totalled 14.2 million new registrations, an increase of 9.3% over 2014 full year results; the highest since 2009.
The market benefited from the last two months of double-digit growth with December setting the highest positive monthly change of the last three years at 1.16 million units.
In 2015, nearly all of the markets analysed (27 out of 29) posted a positive registrations increase with only Estonia and Luxembourg falling behind the levels experienced in 2014. The biggest increases came from Italy and Spain, which together added almost 400,000 units to the year’s total. Spain posted its highest total since 2008, and Italy recorded their best result since 2011.
The biggest markets in the region remain the same. Germany topped with 3.2 million new cars, up by 5.6%, and reaching their highest total since 2009. The UK came second with an all-time record of 2.63 million units (+6.3%), and in France registrations went up by 6.8% to 1.92 million units, the highest since 2011.
Despite Dieselgate scandal, Volkswagen led the European market with 1.72 million units and 12.11% market share, but its sales only increased by 7% compared to 2014. However, despite recent challenges in reality it only lost 0.28 percentage points of market share. Ford was second, exceeding the million units mark but also lost market share. Renault outsold Opel/Vauxhall to take third place in the rankings during 2015 thanks to its double-digit growth.
The GM brands and Peugeot complete the top 5. The rest of the top 10 was made up of the three German premium brands, with Audi leading the annual total but posting the lowest growth among them. Fiat and Skoda completed the top 10, the Italian brand moving further ahead of Skoda.
Outside the top 10 Nissan’s strong performance allowed it to reduce its gap on Toyota, still the largest Japanese make in Europe. However, Toyota’s registrations grew more than Nissan’s during December. Volvo managed to increase its market share up to 2%, and Mazda and Mini posted registrations growth of more than 20%.