Jeep had a spectacular November sales month in Western Europe, while Ford and GM Europe performed poorly, although both could claim mitigating circumstances.
FCA US subsidiary Jeep more than doubled sales in November to 4,591 compared with the same month last year, bringing the total for the year so far to 31,602, an increase of 58.1 percent. Jeep’s biggest seller in Europe is the big Grand Cherokee, followed by the little Compass. Next year things are likely to improve even more, as Jeep launches its new Renegade compact SUV across Europe.
Ford Europe’s sales dived 7.1 percent in the month to 60,705, but this reflected the company gearing up for sales of the face-lifted little Focus sedan, and the all-new Mondeo, sold as the Fusion in the U.S. For the 11 months, Ford sales rose 3.6 per cent to 824,157.
GM Europe had a horrendous looking November, with sales down 12.6 percent to just under 60,000. But this was distorted by the winding down of the Chevrolet brand in Europe. GM’s Opel sells across Europe excluding Britain, where the cars are badged as Vauxhalls. Together in November, sales were down 0.8 percent to just over 59,000, but Opel and Vauxhall are launching the new Corsa subcompact this month. For the 11 months, Opel Vauxhall sales were ahead 5.9 percent at 763,239.
The overall market increased by a meager 0.9 percent in November to 919,229, according to the European Auto Manufacturers Association, known by its acronym in French of ACEA. For the first 11 months of the year sales rose 4.9 percent to 11.2 million, led by Volkswagen. VW sales, including brands like Audi, Skoda and SEAT, were up 6.2 percent in the 11 months and earned a market share of 25.1 percent.
Experts had predicted overall European sales increases of close to 5 percent for the year, which looks on target.
Next year was supposed to be even better, but ominous problems with Russia, combined with a reawakening of worries about the future of the euro currency zone, mean a slowing of growth is more likely.