Car registrations across the EU grew from 1,364,858 vehicles in June 2015 to 1,459,508 in June 2016, a year-on-year increase of 6.9%, according to the European Automobile Manufacturers Association (ACEA).
Of the big five economies, only the UK saw a year-on-year decline, with a drop of 0.8% to 255,766 for the month. French growth was fairly anaemic at 0.8% in the same period, however.
German, Italian and Spanish growth was much stronger, at 8.3%, 11.9% and 11.2%, respectively.
Overall 7,842,965 new cars were registered across the EU in the first six months of 2016, 9.4% more than the amount registered in the first six months of 2015.
As a result of Italian growth of 19.2% and French growth of 8.3% over the course of the first half of 2016, Italian and French car sales moved to within 100,000 of each other (1,102,429 in France and 1,1041,854 in Italy).
To put that in perspective, in H1 2015, 1,017,493 cars were sold in France compared to just 874,381 in Italy.
Over the first half of 2016, the Netherlands was the only market which saw a drop in new car sales (down 3.6% year-on-year to 193,983).
Given the positive results by market, it is unsurprising that the majority of brands witnessed strong growth in the first half of 2016.
Despite growing 4.2% year-on-year in the first six months of 2016, Volkswagen Group’s market share fell from 24.9% in the first half of last year to 23.8% this year.
This was largely driven by a lack of growth from Volkswagen brand vehicles – where 909,470 sales meant a growth of just 0.7% compared to the same period the year before.
PSA Group, the second largest group in Europe, also grew at below market rates. 830,848 sales represented 10.3% of the market from January to June, compared to a market share of 10.6% the group claimed in the same period last year.
A number of manufacturers registered double digit growth over the first six months of the year. Renault Group sales were up 12.6% to 818,144, FCA Group sales grew 16.8% to 550,851, BMW Group sales increased 14% to 533,541 and Daimler sales increased 15.2%, to 483,162.
Jaguar Land Rover also continued its impressive growth over the period, with sales jumping 29.9% to 118,124. This was helped by Jaguar sales more than doubling (+102.6%) over the period, to 32,265.