The number of new cars sold in Europe topped the 15-million mark for the first time in a decade in 2017, the bloc’s industry body calculated in new data published Wednesday.
New car registrations rose for the fourth consecutive year, growing by 3.4 percent to 15.1-million units last year, the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA) said in a statement.
The last time the number had exceeded that was in 2007 when a total 15.9-million new cars were registered.
In the wake of the global economic crisis of 2008, new car sales skidded to as low as 11.8-million in 2013, but have been on the rebound in recent years.
The strongest increases in sales last year were seen in Italy and Spain, where new registrations were up by 7.9 percent and 7.7 percent respectively.
Sales were up by 4.7 percent in France and by 2.7 percent in Germany, ACEA calculated.
By contrast, new cars sales slumped by 5.7 percent in Britain, the first decline in six years, as the country grapples with its decision to quit the EU.
In December alone, however, new car registrations were down by 4.9 percent across the EU as a whole, largely because there was one working day less than in December 2016.
Sales were down in almost all European markets in December, apart from Spain where new registrations were up 6.2 percent.
British car sales plummeted by 14.4 percent in December, ACEA calculated.
German giant Volkswagen remains Europe’s biggest carmaker, commanding a market share of 23.6 percent, the data showed.
French group PSA, which makes Peugeot, Citroen and DS brands, saw its market share balloon to 15 percent from 8.9 percent after it recently acquired the German and British automakers Opel and Vauxhall from General Motors.
French rival Renault ranked third with a market share of 12.7 percent, the ACEA data showed. – AFP Relaxnews