European Auto Sales Fall in May, GM Sees Sharp Decline In Sales While Ford Gains Market Share
Auto sales across the European Union declined in May from a year ago as the economic slump across the region continues to weigh on expenditures.
Sales across the European Union declined 5.9 percent in May from the same period a year ago to 1.05 million cars, the lowest absolute figure for the month of May since 1993. For the first five months of May, sales fell 6.8 percent compared to the first five months of 2012.
In May, the U.K. was the only country of the 27 in the European Union to see sales rise. Auto sales in the U.K. rose 11.0 percent from a year ago while sales in Spain, Italy, Germany and France all declined in May.
General Motors Weakness
General Motors saw a sharp decline in sales in May as sales fell 11.3 percent from May 2012. GM reported sales of 87,943 units in May, down from 94,535 in May of 2012. For the first five months of 2013, sales are down 11 percent from the same period a year ago.
Notably for General Motors, Chevrolet sales declined 23.5 percent in Europe in May from May of 2012 to 13,373 units. Sales for Chevrolet for the first five months of 2013 are down 33.5 percent from last year while declines in the larger Opel/Vauxhall unit saw much more muted declines in both periods.
Volkswagen (OTC: VLKAY) retained its spot as the top dog in Europe, gaining 25.4 percent market share, an increase from 24.6 percent in May of 2012. Meanwhile, Peugeot (OTC: PEUGY) and GM both saw market share decline. Notably, Ford's market share grew to 8.0 percent from 7.5 percent in May of 2012 but declined on a cumulative five month basis.
Luxury brands definitely were the strong spot for the European market in May as the luxury brands of Volkswagen, BMW, and Daimler (OTC: DDAIF) all posted gains in the month of May. Porsche, Audi, BMW, and Mercedes all did well in the month showing that luxury brands continue to drive sales while more price-sensitive consumers remain tepid at making large expenditures.
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