European Car Sales Grow

Published Date: 17th Jan 2015

Car sales in the EU (European Union) grew in 2014 for the first time in over five years, according to figures from the industry trade association ACEA (European Automobile Manufacturer's Association)

EU new car Sales crept up 5.7% to 12,550,771, propelled by government scrappage schemes and wholesale orders from big companies. There was also a change in sales, with many customers switching to cheaper brands, with Dacia and Skoda reporting some of the biggest sales rises. The biggest hitters were Spain and the UK as they saw sales jump in 2014, up 18% and 9.3% respectively.

The ACEA said in a statement that "In December sales rose 4.7% year-on-year, the 16th consecutive monthly rise. However, the industry remains cautious about growth this year, as many incentive schemes and tax breaks are being ended".

Carlos Ghosn, the chief executive of Nissan, said this week at the 2015 Detroit Motor Show that he expects European growth to be slow in 2015, at around 1%-2%.

Peter Fuss, an automotive analyst at business services group E&Y, said in a research note on Friday that he expected 2015 sales to be about 3% higher.

He announced: "We remain cautious about the ability of new car sales to return to their pre-crisis levels by the end of this decade.

"Furthermore, car sharing and other alternative trends of urban mobility are expected to gain relevance in the market amid shifting consumer preference."

The Spanish government has extended an incentive scheme, known as Plan PIVE, offering price cuts on new low-emission vehicles.