Luxembourg has the youngest car parc in Europe while Poland has the oldest. Germany has the highest number of people directly employed in vehicle manufacturing in Europe but Spain has the highest output per worker. Turkey is the largest vehicle exporter to the EU in term of units, but Japan accounts for the highest import value of cars to the region. Europe's diesel penetration is down, but electric cars are also losing ground.
Those are just some of the facts found in the latest Automobile Industry Pocket Guide from the European automotive industry association, ACEA. The guide shows the power of the auto industry in Europe while also revealing several interesting trends.
Germany leads on jobs
ACEA estimates that the automotive sector directly employed 2.45 million people in manufacturing in 2015. The number of jobs had been on the rise 2011, when the total was 2.23 million. Germany had the highest number of people directly employed in automotive manufacturing, 850,857, well ahead of second-ranked France at 224,000. Poland was No. 3 at 178,274. The Czech Republic, however, had the highest percentage of its working population employed in the automotive sector, 3.24 percent, followed by Slovakia (2.76 percent) and Germany (2.17 percent). The EU average was 1.14 percent.
Although Germany was Europe's largest passenger car producer (5.54 million units) and Spain was second (2.27 million cars), Spain produces an average of 19.2 vehicles per worker annually compared with Germany's 7.2 vehicles, which is slightly below the region's average of 7.6 cars. Other high-output countries are Slovakia (13.7) and Belgium (12.8).
While European vehicle sales have risen for three consecutive years the car parc continues to age. In 2015, the most recent data available, the average age of passenger cars in Europe had grown to 10.7 years from 10.5 years in 2014, figures from IHS Markit show. The average age of passenger cars is up 27 percent from 2007, when it was 8.4 years. The European markets with the oldest car fleets are Poland (17.2 years), Lithuania (16.7) and Latvia (16.3). At 6.2 years, Luxembourg has the youngest car fleet, ahead of Belgium (7.7), while the UK and Denmark tied for third (8.5).
Europe's largest export market for passenger cars is the United States, both in units and value. Last year 1.17 million cars were shipped to the U.S from Europe. Turkey was No. 2 (534,223) followed by China (531,784). In terms of value, car exports to the U.S. were worth 37.7 billion euros, well ahead of China (19.8 billion euros) and, surprisingly, third-ranked Switzerland at 7.8 billion euros.
On the import side, Turkey sent the most vehicles to Europe, but Japan was tops in terms of value. Last year brands such as Fiat, Ford, Hyundai, Renault and Toyota shipped 644,372 vehicles to the European Union from Turkey while 575,223 cars came from Japan and 401,868 from South Korea. In term of value of the imports, Japan had a clear lead with 9.1 billion euros, ahead of the U.S. (7.2 billion euros) and Turkey (6.4 billion euros).