January 18, 2017: European car sales rose 6.5 percent to a 9-year high in 2016. Registrations increased to 15.1 million vehicles last year from 14.2 million in 2015, the Brussels-based European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association, or ACEA, said.
French manufacturer Renault SA took advantage of market leader Volkswagen AG’s diesel emissions scandal to leap from third place to second. Deliveries at Renault grew 12 percent, almost twice the market rate, as the company drew buyers with an updated line-up, including a new Megane hatchback.
The positive trend has proved that despite Brexit and the Italian referendum, consumer confidence remains and demand is pushed up by a recovering economy.In 2016, new passenger car registrations showed a consistent increase. Italy (+15.8%) and Spain (+10.9%) had the strongest growth in demand during the year, followed by France (+5.1%), Germany (+4.5%) and the UK (+2.3%).
Demand for passenger cars in Europe improved noticeably during the first nine months of 2016 (+4.9%), accounting for 23.6% of the global market. The EU region contributed significantly to the positive global picture, mainly thanks to better macroeconomic conditions, which directly improved internal demand. With 11.2 million passenger cars sold in the EU, results were 8.0% higher than in the same period last year. European passenger car production increased (+3.4%) in the first three quarters of 2016, this was mainly the result of high domestic demand.