VW stuck in slow gear

European car sales race ahead

GMT 09:48 2015 Tuesday ,15 December

Arab Today, arab today European car sales race ahead

European car sales soared by 13.7 percent in November
Paris - Arab Today

European car sales soared by 13.7 percent in November, but scandal-plagued Volkswagen trailed the pack with only a 4.1-percent increase, data from a trade industry body showed Tuesday.

While VW still remained by far the top carmaker in Europe by sales, it had the smallest monthly percentage gain of all carmakers, the European Automobile Manufacturers Association data showed.

VW has been embroiled in scandal since September, when it admitted it had installed emission-cheating software into 11 million diesel engine vehicles worldwide.

The scandal could easily cost the company tens of billions of euros in repair costs and fines and there have been concerns that it could also crimp sales going forward.

The company said last week that worldwide sales of all of its 12 different brands were down 2.2 percent in November.
Although VW's sales in the EU still rose in November, its market share slid to 24.3 percent compared to 26.6 percent in the same month last year.

November sales data show that VW hasn't cast a cloud over other German carmakers. Daimler's sales were up 22.8 percent and Opel 18.3 percent, although BMW's 10.1-percent gain was below average.

French automakers Peugeot-Citroen and Renault both saw sales increases near the industry average.

The biggest monthly percentage sales gain of 70 percent was posted by Jaguar Land Rover Group, as sales of Land Rovers jumped by 66.7 percent and Jaguars by 83.7 percent.

Over the 11 months of the year, European new car registrations -- a proxy for sales -- were up 8.7 percent to 12.6 million vehicles, already beating the number sold in 2014.

"Nevertheless, this result is only now reaching the levels registered in immediate post-crisis years," said the European Automobile Manufacturers Association in a statement.

The 1.08 million vehicles sold in November this year is still far from the more than 1.2 million vehicles sold during that month in 2006 and 2007, before the global economic crisis struck.

Spain, one of the countries worst hit in Europe by the crisis, saw its sales rise 25.4 percent in November. Italy, another country that has wobbled along in the crisis, saw a 23.5-percent gain.

French sales were just below the EU average at 11.3 percent in November but the British market appears to have cooled off with sales up just 3.8 percent in the month.

For 2015 as a whole, Ireland looks to be in pole position to post the largest increase in sales. For the first 11 months of the year, sales rose by 29.8 percent.

The country posted the fastest average economic growth rate in the EU in the first three quarters at seven percent.
Source: AFP

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