Wednesday April 22, 2015 Search
Weather | Athens
14o C
09o C
News
Business
Comment
Life
Sports
Community
Survival Guide
Greek Edition
European car sales increase for longest period in four years

Elisabeth Behrmann

European car sales rose 4.3 percent in June as demand at Renault SA’s budget Dacia division and Volkswagen AG’s Seat nameplate contributed to the longest stretch of monthly delivery gains in four years.

Registrations increased to 1.23 million vehicles from 1.18 million a year earlier, the Brussels-based European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association, or ACEA, said today. That marked 10 consecutive months of growth, matching an expansion from June 2009 through March 2010. Sales surged 32 percent at Dacia, helped by a revamped Duster sport-utility vehicle, and 13 percent at Seat, which is widening its Leon compact lineup.

The European Central Bank unveiled a range of measures in June to encourage private spending in the countries sharing the euro a year after a recession ended. Euro-zone unemployment in May was 11.6 percent, compared with record 12 percent rates last year. Consumer confidence in Germany and the U.K., Europe’s two biggest car markets, increased in June, according to research company GfK SE.

“The stronger this confidence turns out to be” across Europe, “the better for the auto sector,” Marc-Rene Tonn, an analyst at M.M. Warburg in Hamburg, said by phone. Even so, recovery from the debt crisis “has been timid, so we’ll see to what extent negative events will have an impact on consumers.”

Spanish jump

The ACEA compiles figures from the 28 European Union countries, excluding Malta, as well as from Switzerland, Norway and Iceland. Car sales in Spain jumped 24 percent, the biggest increase among Europe’s five largest auto markets, as the country recovers from a debt crisis. Deliveries in Greece and Portugal, where governments have also imposed austerity measures to stabilize public finances, surged 41 percent and 24 percent, respectively. U.K. registrations rose 6.2 percent.

Europe’s car market is recovering from a two-decade low reached in 2013, and sales are being stoked by rebates.
“After a six-year slump in the European car market, an inconsistent and heavily incentivized recovery is better than no recovery at all,” Allan Rushforth, head of European operations for Seoul-based Hyundai Motor Co., said in an e-mail. “The dilemma for carmakers now is how they pursue future sales” amid pricing pressure.

Rebates ease

While rebates in Germany’s auto market, the region’s biggest, eased from peak levels a year ago, they remain at historically high levels of 11.4 percent off the recommended price on average, trade publication Autohaus PulsSchlag reported. Registrations in Germany fell 1.9 percent in June, held back by fewer working days.

“You have to tread carefully with price cuts because buyers get used to them,” said Frank Biller, an analyst at LBBW in Stuttgart, Germany. “Once you’ve discounted, it’s only really possible to raise prices again when there are new models being introduced to the market.”

Group sales by Boulogne-Billancourt, France-based Renault, Europe’s third-biggest carmaker, rose 24 percent in June, including a 21 percent jump at the namesake brand. New models adding to demand include the Captur crossover and Dacia’s Sandero hatchback. Renault raised its full-year European auto- market forecast this month, predicting growth of 3 percent to 4 percent instead of a 2 percent to 3 percent gain.

VW Passat

Volkswagen, Europe’s largest automaker and the second- biggest worldwide, sold 2.5 percent more cars in the region. Gains of 13 percent at both Seat and Skoda and a 1.4 percent increase at the premium Audi brand offset a 2.8 percent drop at the namesake VW marque.

Seat added a station wagon variant of the Leon car in late 2013, while Skoda, which outlined plans in January to introduce a new or revised model every six months until 2016, is benefiting from the latest version of its Octavia small car.

VW unveiled a revamped Passat earlier this month in an effort to reclaim the best-selling sedan’s lead in the European segment from Bayerische Motoren Werke AG’s 3-Series. The Wolfsburg, Germany-based parent company plans to cut costs and boost productivity at the brand by 5 billion euros ($6.8 billion) by 2017 to lift sagging profitability.
Combined European sales by General Motors Co.’s twin Opel and Vauxhall marques rose 12 percent in June, as the Mokka compact SUV and Corsa small car won buyers. Ruesselsheim, Germany-based Opel, targeting a market share of 8 percent in Europe, is revamping its lineup with 27 new or updated models through 2018 in a bid to overtake Ford Motor Co. as Europe’s second-biggest automotive nameplate, after VW.

BMW Coupe

BMW, the world’s luxury-car market leader, sold 4.5 percent more autos in Europe groupwide last month as the namesake brand’s 7.6 percent gain more than made up for a 6.9 percent drop in the Mini nameplate. Sales of the 2-Series coupe, available since March, and the up-market 5-Series sedan helped boost the BMW nameplate’s deliveries. The Mini lineup is being updated. European deliveries by Stuttgart-based Mercedes-Benz increased 1.1 percent.

Manufacturers posting European sales drops last month included Paris-based PSA Peugeot Citroen, with a 0.2 percent decline; Dearborn, Michigan-based Ford, which sold 0.9 percent fewer cars; and Hyundai, with a 4.9 percent slide.

Peugeot, Europe’s second-biggest carmaker, said separately today that its global first-half deliveries increased 5.5 percent, its first gain for the period in three years, as demand in China jumped 28 percent.

With a turnaround program bringing some early results, “we need to remain focused on executing our road map, as the external environment is still unstable, particularly in Europe, Latin America and Russia,” Peugeot Chief Executive Officer Carlos Tavares said in a statement. [Bloomberg]

 

ekathimerini.com , Thursday Jul 17, 2014 (11:09)  
Carrot to pay income tax all in one go
IOBE: No agreement would be a huge failure
Haircut on Greek banks collateral?
Uncertainty hits bookings from Germany and the UK
Greek PM eyes Merkel support
Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras is to meet with German Chancellor Angela Merkel Thursday in Brussels in a bid to secure a statement of political support from Berlin amid tough negotiations wit...
Mayors resist coalitions demand to hand over cash reserves
Mayors insisted on Tuesday that they would not allow their municipalities cash reserves to be transferred to the Bank of Greece, as the government wants, at least until they have held a mee...
Inside News
BASKETBALL
Second win for the Reds over Barca in four days
Olympiakos is one step from the Euroleague Final Four in Madrid after downing Barcelona on Tuesday for the second time in four days, to edge ahead 2-1 in the best-of-five play-off series. Th...
BASKETBALL
Panathinaikos recovers to beat CSKA for 2-1
Three-pointer master Panathinaikos had the last laugh at the end of Game 3 of its series with CSKA Moscow on Monday winning 86-85 and reducing the Russians' lead to 2-1 in the best-of-five p...
Inside Sports
COMMENTARY
IMF needs to correct its big Greek bailout mistake
The Greek government's mounting financial woes are leading it to contemplate the unthinkable: defaulting on a loan from the International Monetary Fund. Instead of demanding repayment and fu...
COMMENTARY
Tragedy in the Mediterranean
Every time we in the West see yet another video of an atrocity committed by Islamic State or Boko Haram and express our abhorrence, and every time we are shocked to read of a boatload of mig...
Inside Comment
SPONSORED LINK: FinanzNachrichten.de
SPONSORED LINK: BestPrice.gr
RECENT NEWS
1. Second win for the Reds over Barca in four days
2. Carrot to pay income tax all in one go
3. IOBE: No agreement would be a huge failure
4. Haircut on Greek banks collateral?
5. Uncertainty hits bookings from Germany and the UK
6. No leap in relations with Russia
more news
Today
This Week
1. Greek government's popularity takes a hit as talks drag on
2. Tragedy in the Mediterranean
3. No ferries on Labor Day as seamen take industrial action
4. ECB studying curbs on Greek bank support
5. Silence is not an option
6. Two men accused of migrant smuggling face prosecutor over deadly shipwreck
Today
This Week
1. Quarantine for Greek bank subsidiaries in neighboring countries
2. Time to get serious
3. Putting off payments led to Q1 budget primary surplus
4. Obama calls for flexibility in Greek reform talks in brief exchange with Varoufakis
5. Greek government's popularity takes a hit as talks drag on
6. Greece denies report that it is preparing for debt default
Find us ...
... on
Twitter
... on Facebook
About us  |  Subscriptions  |  Advertising  |  Contact us  |  Athens Plus  |  RSS  |   
Copyright 2015, H KAΘHMEPINH All Rights Reserved.