For the first time in seven years, the auto industry managed to post a surge in sales in Europe at 5 percent to 13 million cars, according to industry association ACEA. That growth, however, was not brought about by genuine recovery of consumer confidence, according to analysts, who said that the surge should be attributed to discounting, state-backed incentives and fleet sales.
Leading the charge in Europe is the Renault group, which posted a 13-percent surge in 2014, with the Captur crossover helping its namesake brand grow 9 percent. Renault’s Dacia meanwhile, saw its volume jump 23 percent as boosted by the Duster SUV and Sandero hatchback.
The Volkswagen group, on the other hand, logged a 7-percent gain in Europe. Both the group’s Skoda and Seat brands logged a 14-percent hike in sales, with namesake VW brand and Audi posting a 4-percent and 5-percent surges, respectively.
French carmaker PSA/Peugeot-Citroen, eked out a 4-percent jump in European sales, driven by demand for the Peugeot 308 hatchback and 2008 and 3008 crossovers as well as for the Citroen C4 Cactus SUV.
General Motors logged a 5-percent drop in overall sales in Europe, even though its Opel and Vauxhall brands grew 7 percent, as the carmaker is in the process of pulling Chevrolet out from the region.
Ford and Daimler gained 5 percent and 4 percent, respectively. BMW and Mercedes-Benz posted gains of 6 percent and 5 percent, respectively.