Passenger car registrations in EU and EFTA markets dropped 8.5 percent year-on-year in January 2013 to 918,280, the lowest for the month since 1990, according to figures released by industry association ACEA. The numbers show that Ford suffered the most in Europe, posting a nearly 26-percent drop in sales. PSA/Peugeot-Citroen succumbed to a 16-percent fall in European volume, similar to the decline posted by Toyota, which has sales results that include Lexus.
Opel, meanwhile, managed to buck the downward trend in European sales, after posting a 4.3-percent surge in sales in January 2013, helped by the popular Mokka subcompact sports utility vehicle. The carmaker also launched its Adam minicar last month. South Korean carmaker Hyundai and Kia both posted increases in sales in Europe in the period.
Hyundai grew more than 2 percent while Kia gained almost 8 percent. Volkswagen Group suffered a 5.5-percent drop in volume in Europe, but it still managed to expand its market share to 24.4 percent, proving that it is still Europe's biggest carmaker in terms of sales. All of the group’s brands, save for Seat, suffered sales drops.
While the VW brand lost market share, other group brands like Audi, Seat and Skoda grabbed more. Renault Group suffered a 6-percent drop in sales in Europe. The Renault brand logged a 10.5-percent fall in sales, but the group was saved by it low-cost Dacia brand, which posted an 8.5-percent rise in sales. Fiat Group saw its Europe sales drop 12.4 percent in January.
The group’s decline was heavily due to a 37-percent drop at its Alfa Romeo brand, which the carmaker’s chief executive Sergio Marchionne is banking on for the group’s recovery, and a 32-percent fall at its Lancia/Chrysler brands. The Fiat brand only suffered a 4-percent drop in the period. Premium carmakers like BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Jaguar Land Rover meanwhile, saw good figures for January 2013. The demand for vehicles in Europe is expected to continue to decline this year by 3 to 5 percent.