Europe’s No. 1 market drops behind India
LUCA CIFERRI

Germany stumbles in global sales race

Europe’s No. 1 market drops behind India

Luca Ciferri is Editor of Automotive News Europe.Luca Ciferri is Editor of Automotive News Europe.
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Germany knows just how powerful the BRIC nations have become. Once the world’s third-largest vehicle-sales market, Germany is at risk of falling to seventh in the global ranking this year because of the rise of the BRICs (Brazil, Russia, India and China). China has been world No. 1 since 2010, which was the same year that Brazil passed Germany and into fourth place.

India also has pulled ahead of Europe’s largest market, knocking Germany out of the top five after two months of 2013 based on sales of passenger cars and light commercial vehicles. Through February, India led Germany 217,849 to 213,800, according to Rome-based consultancy Focus2move.

The data also shows that Germany was just 3,134 units ahead of Russia after two months, which means Germany could slip to seventh globally in 2013.

Germany is not the only European country to slide down the ranking. Last year only France (No. 8) and the UK (No. 9) remained in the top 10. Italy dropped to 12th after sales declined by 20 percent to 1.4 million units, a level not seen in the country since 1979.

After two months of 2013, Italy climbed back to 10th place while the UK dropped to 16th, but both moves aren’t expected to last. UK sales are traditionally weak in the months before the change of number plates, which happens in March and September.

“The UK market at 16th place in February is just due to a seasonal factor, while March UK sales normally are the highest in the whole of Europe, even ahead of Germany,” said Focus2move founder Carlo Simongini.

If he’s correct, Italy and the UK should be moving in opposite direction in the March ranking.

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