VW Golf rides crest of last scrappage wave

The European new car market is riding the last wave of scrappage-incentivised sales and a slowdown could be on the way, according to analyst JATO Dynamics.

VW Golf and Ford Fiesta continue as the only contenders for the 2009 top-model crown, which Golf is looking certain to secure comfortably through its almost universal popularity across Europe.

November’s top 10 selling models in Europe:

  1. VW Golf: 48,445 units
  2. Ford Fiesta: 38,953 units
  3. Renault Clio: 33,911 units
  4. Peugeot 207: 30,093 units
  5. Vauxhall Corsa: 27,433 units
  6. VW Polo: 25,287 units
  7. Fiat Punto: 25,079 units
  8. Fiat Panda: 24,910 units
  9. Renault Megane: 23,062 units
  10. Ford Focus: 22,626 units

“On first inspection, European new car sales figures look healthy but look closer and there are some ominous signs,” said David Di Girolamo, head of JATO Consult.

JATO’s monthly 27-market analysis shows that November 2009 was a significantly better month for new car sales than the same period, 2008, as expected.

However, in key markets, the sales surge is lessening as scrappage schemes close. In Germany, October 2009 sales were up 24.1%, versus. 2008; in November, this gap closed to 19.7%.

By contrast, France, Italy, Spain and the UK all returned buoyant sales figures for November – their schemes are set to endure until at least the end of 2009.

Di Girolamo said: “Already, we are seeing reduced new car imports into Europe and the extent of the decline in sales will be something to watch carefully over the next couple of months.

“You only have to look at Eastern Europe, where there are no such schemes to see a truer picture of new the car market place – demand here is significantly lower, year-on-year.”

Published by emmabutcher

Emma has been CAT's editor since January 2008. There isn't much she doesn't know about the aftermarket - and her favourite topic is definitely BER!

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