2 Number of Vehicles

New car registrations in the EU increased to 13.7 million in 2015. That number is about 12% below where it was before the economic crisis, when roughly 15.6 million cars were sold annually in the EU, but about 1 million vehicles higher than it was just one year before, in 2014. Registrations in the EU are dominated by the larger Member States; the three largest alone (Germany, France, United Kingdom) account for nearly 60% of the total (Fig. 2-1).

Germany is the largest market, with a 23% share of the overall European market. Registrations in Germany dropped in 2006–2008, then rose in 2009 thanks to a government scrappage scheme, and from that point on increased again to around 3.2 million vehicles per year. By contrast, in Spain, Europe’s fifth-largest vehicle market, only 1.0 million new cars were registered in 2015, about 40% less than before the economic crisis. However, compared to the low point in 2012, vehicle registrations in Spain have increased by nearly 50% (Fig. 2-2).

The European market is very diverse, with the most-registered brand, VW, commanding only 12% of the market, and no other brand managing more than 10%. The “other” category, containing all brands outside the top ten, is remarkably large – more than 35% of all registrations (Fig. 2-5).

At 1.7 million, new light-commercial vehicle (LCV) registrations account for approximately 11% of the total light-duty vehicle market (Fig. 2-9).

The VW Golf remains the most popular car model in Europe. It accounted for about 4% of all new vehicle sales in the EU in 2015. On the LCV side, Ford Transit leads, with about 13% of the market (Fig. 2-10 and Fig. 2-11).

The total number of newly registered heavy trucks and buses in the EU was 0.4 million in 2015 (Fig. 2-12). The truck market in the EU is dominated by only five manufacturers, together accounting for nearly 100% of all sales (Fig. 2-15).