Car sales in Europe surged 4 percent in June to 1.23 million vehicles, boosted by an economic recovery in southern Europe, new product introductions and incentives. According to ACEA, the surge in registrations in the EU and EFTA markets marked 10 straight months of gains. The region grew 6 percent to 6.85 million vehicles in the first half of 2014, ACEA said.
The association said that the surge in June came from a low base and was spread unevenly across Europe. Analysts noted that heavy discounting as well as other incentives was altering the true level of demand in Europe.
According to data from a major independent market research firm, retail incentives across the region’s top five markets climbed 10 percent to a record EUR2,748 ($3,700) per vehicle.
Ernst & Young senior advisory partner Peter Fuss remarked that heavy discounting and other buyer incentives are still a significant area of concern since they distort the true level of demand.
Allan Rushforth, Hyundai's Europe chief, however, remarked that an inconsistent and heavily incentivized recovery in Europe is better than no recovery at all. He said that carmakers’ dilemma is how to pursue future sales amid pricing pressure.
German carmaker Volkswagen AG logged a 2.5-percent gain in Europe. It namesake brand dropped 3 percent but was offset by a 13-percent gain at both Seat and Skoda and a 1-percent surge at Audi.
French carmaker PSA/Peugeot-Citroen posted a slight drop (0.2 percent), after a 3-percent gain at Peugeot failed to offset a 4-percent drop at Citroen. Renault, meanwhile, recorded a 24-percent rise in group sales in June – thanks to 21-percent surge at its namesake brand and a 32-percent jump at Dacia.
Opel and Vauxhall posted a combined gain of 12 percent while Ford dropped slightly at 0.9 percent in June. Italian carmaker Fiat Group saw its June deliveries leap 7 percent.