European car sales show signs of recovery

The European car market could be improving as new sales figures indicate welcome signs of recovery. UK car dealers like Evans Halshaw have been enjoying better business, while car dealers in France, Italy and Spain also enjoyed a spike in car sales in August. Could the European car market be climbing its way out of the economic downturn?

The main surge in the UK has been in the small car sector, with buyers looking to save money by purchasing cost effective models with excellent fuel efficiency. Increasing by 7.3 per cent to 59,346 in August, new car registrations recorded their first rise since June 2010. August is usually a slow month for car sales, so the increase in small car sales is to be celebrated.

What were the most popular models? The Ford Fiesta, with the Opel Corso and the
Ford Focus also enjoying improved sales figures. The extra features being added to the smaller cars, such as leather interiors and sat navs, have been singled out as possible reasons for the sales peak. However, demand for cost effective cars with low CO2 emissions, from drivers wishing to save money and the environment, has also had a large positive impact on sales.

The formerly sputtering car markets of France, Spain and Italy have also witnessed
their first upturn in many months. The French car market saw sales rise 3.2 per cent in August, which was their first rise in five months. The Spanish car market enjoyed a rise in sales figures in August of 5.9 per cent. Incredibly, this was their first rise in thirteen months. Despite having long suffered from a depressed market, the Italian Transport Ministry also confirmed a 1.5 per cent rise in car sales in August when compared to the same month’s sales figures in 2010.

Does this mean a full recovery is underway? While the recent upturn is certainly good
news, many car industry experts continue to predict a tough year for the European car market throughout 2012. The general weak demand caused by the recession continues to have a stifling effect on car sales.

Nevertheless, the peak in small car sales in August wasn’t predicted by the car industry experts and car dealers should hold on to what optimism and enthusiasm the newly released European car sales figures have engendered. While the economic downturn may not be completely over, any sign of recovery is a good sign.