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back to index backEUROtalk March,  2017


Autos: European Demand on Strong Trajectory to Begin 2017

Western European (EU15+EFTA) registrations increased 9-10% yoy in January (versus our Q1 estimate +1% yoy), benefitting from an additional selling day in most major markets. Most major markets (Germany, France, Italy, Spain) saw 10-11% demand growth in January. UK demand 3% yoy, but private registrations were +5% versus recent months down low/mid single digits. We currently estimate Western European demand rises 1-2% in 2017, but this could be conservative if UK demand remains solid (RWB 2017 UK estimate: -5% decline).

- Western European (EU15+EFTA) registrations increased 9-10% yoy in January, benefitting from an additional selling day in most major markets. Excluding this selling day, we believe sales were up mid single digits. We currently expect Western European registrations to expand 1-2% as mid-single-digit declines in the UK are more than offset by low/mid-single-digit growth in other major regions. So far, the UK demand indicators (employment, income, confidence) remain solid. There is likely upside to our forecast if UK sales remain resilient.

- Strong growth seen across nearly all major markets.

- Spain and Italy demand expanded 10-11% in January, continuing the strong performance from 2016 (+13-14% in aggregate). France and Germany sales increased 11% in the month, well above the 2016 full-year demand for both countries up 5%. UK demand increased 3% yoy, consistent with full-year 2016 demand up 2% yoy. Positively, private registrations expanded 5% yoy in the month, well above recent low/mid-single-digit declines.

- January by the numbers.

----- OEMs gaining sales market share: Kia (+23%), FCA (+15%), and Daimler (+13%).

----- OEMs losing sales market share: Honda (-10%), Mazda (-9%), Nissan (+4%).

----- L3M premium brand deliveries (comparable to production): Audi (+9%), Mercedes (+9%), BMW (+5%).

----- Q4 sales of alternative powertrains (4-5% of the total): Hybrid (+25% yoy) and electric vehicles (-17% yoy off a tough yoy comp).

- German production increased 11% yoy in January, partially due to two additional working days yoy. Total orders (domestic and abroad) were up 2-3% yoy, solidly supporting build levels to begin the year.

- Total European production (including Russia) expanded 5% yoy in January, above our estimate for 1% growth in Q1. Similar to the sales figures, we believe European production benefitted from higher build days. Positively, after several years of weighing on overall build, Russia appears to be forming a bottom. Recent months have been running down low-single-digits versus full-year 2016 demand down 10-15%.

To download 7-page report, please click here.

Source: BAIRD - GAI



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