Figures published by ACEA (European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association), paint a very positive picture of the European new passenger car market. Registrations rose 16.0 pert cent in May, reaching 1,288,220 units.
In May 2016, European passenger car registrations showed a double digit growth marking 33 consecutive months of growth. Year-to-date, the market grew by 9.9 per cent, totalling 6.4 million units.
All largest European markets performed well: Italy (+27.3%), France (+22.3%) and Spain (+20.9%) experienced the largest increase, in Germany (+11.9%) and the UK (+2.5%) car registrations grew at a more modest rate.
New car sales in Ireland fell by -6.03 per cent in May for the first time last December (-0.86 pc) and previous to that last June (2015 at -14.01pc). However, the overall new car sales market in Ireland rose by 29.77 per cent for the full year in 2015 over 2014, and the January to May 2016 market is still up 23.27 per cent on the similar five months last year.
The European figures justify recent predictions from the ACEA, which revised its forecast for 2016 car registrations from the initial 2 per cent growth to 5 per cent.
Economists site positive factors such as decline in oil prices and very low inflation have been supporting European economic recovery. More good news is that real GDP in the EU is now expected to grow moderately by 1.8 per cent in 2016 after rising 2.0 per cent in 2015.
European car registrations currently represent almost a quarter of the global market and the automotive sector across Europe has made again its significant contribution to the overall economy.