Renault still best in group
Among the automakers the best performance came from Renault, which contained its decline in shareholder value to 5.7 percent. This was a long way, however, from the spectacular gain of 44.7 percent that put it at the top of the leaderboard in Q4 last year.
Renault was followed in Q1 by French rival Peugeot, (-7.1 percent), VW (-10.9 percent), Daimler (-12.9 percent) and Fiat (-16.4 percent). The weakest performance came from BMW (-17.3 percent).
During the quarter the German premium automaker announced record 2015 sales for BMW brand, which rose 5.2 percent to 1.9 million vehicles. But like other leading European automakers, BMW was affected by a lower-than-expected final dividend payment for the year and investor concerns about the challenges such as slowing sales in China.
VW continued to suffer the effects of its emissions-cheating scandal, with the U.S. Justice Department filing a lawsuit for civil damages that it says could run to more than $20 billion. VW also warned there would be a Q1 setback in its sales in Europe's second-largest market, the UK, although it says future orders show a brighter picture after that.
Commenting on the trends for auto manufacturers revealed by the latest ANE /PwC report, Jason Wakelam said “while overall sales volumes continue to increase across Europe, specific factors such as the emissions scandal and the uncertainty over economic conditions in China may be impacting the market.”