Passenger car registrations in the European Union continued to grow year-on-year in May, albeit at a sluggish pace of 0.8%.
The Brussels-based European Automobile Manufacturers Association (ACEA) recorded over 1.4m passenger vehicle registrations in May 2018 across the European single market. Germany, the continent’s largest car market, recorded 305,057 registrations. This was a year-on-year monthly drop of 5.8%, the largest fall of any major market.
Italy also recorded a 2.8% fall year-on-year, with 199,113 registered cars in May. In France there were 191,702 registrations, a rise of 0.1%. Spain recorded 135,522 registrations, a 7.2% year-on-year increase.
The ongoing rise in registrations in Central and Eastern Europe continued in May, with Romania recording a 43.3% year-on-year increase to 11,555 vehicles.
The generally positive trend was reflected in data from the United Kingdom, where registrations rose 3.4% year-on-year in May. Britain still saw a 6.8% fall in the year to date.
Across manufacturers, the Volkswagen (VW) Group recorded 363,117 registrations across the region in May, a year-on-year rise of 3.7%, pushing market share for Europe to 25.2%. Of those registrations, 18,097 were in the UK, where VW had a 9.39% market share May, behind Ford’s 10.97%.
There was a 9.6% rise in European car sales in April, in part due to the timing of the 2018 Easter holiday allowing for showrooms being open for business on more days.
Last year, UK car registrations dipped for the first time since 2011. By comparison, EU-wide car sales reached a ten-year high last year, a factor attributed by industry experts to increased SUV sales offsetting declining sales in diesel vehicles.