But Sales Boosted By Incentives, Not Underlying Demand.
Ford Europe and GM Europe saw their sales perk up in Western Europe in September, but were both still performing in line with the overall weak market through the first nine months of 2013.
In September, GM’s Opel-Vauxhall and Chevrolet brands increased sales close to the overall market gain of 5.4 per cent. Opel-Vauxhall raised sales five per cent to 84,500 compared with the same period of 2012. Chevrolet increased its sales 6.1 per cent to 11,000. But in the first nine months of the year, Chevy performed poorly, down 19.4 per cent at 98,500, according to figures from the European Car Manufacturers Association, known by its French acronym ACEA. Opel-Vauxhall sales for the nine months were down 4.0 per cent, exactly in line with the overall fall in Western Europe.
Ford Europe’s sales in September were up 4.8 per cent to 93,100 and down 5.5 per cent to 660,100 for the first nine months.
Fiat-Chrysler sales were down 7.8 per cent for the first nine months at 554,300.
VW remains the market leader in Europe with a nearly 25 per cent share in the nine months.
Experts said the latest sales data points to a recovery in the market, after hitting 20 year lows, but warned that any rally was likely to be weak in 2014. Others said the sales spike was because of huge and expensive discounting being carried out by the manufacturers, which augured poorly for the battered finances of the non-German companies.