The EU saw double digit (10.2%) growth in new car sales in January, with the figure reaching 1,170,220 for the continent.

This marked the fourth consecutive January where sales have grown year-on-year, and marked the highest number for the month since 2008, when the recession hit.

This was helped by double digit growth in four of the five biggest economies. Year-on-year, the Spanish market grew 10.7% in the month, the French market grew 10.6%, the German market by 10.5% and the Italian market grew by 10.1%

The UK, which sold more cars than any country other than Germany, saw sales increase 2.9% to 174,564.

Elsewhere, the Dutch market bounced back from a weak 2016 to grow 27.1% year-on-year to 51,536 registrations. The smaller Croatian and Romanian also managed more than 20% year-on-year growth.

The only countries where registrations were lower in January 2017 than 2016 were Ireland and Slovakia.


The majority of brands saw increases roughly in line with the general market growth. Volkswagen Group, the largest manufacturing group in the continent, saw sales increase 10.3%, although Audi sales only managed a 2.7% increase year-on-year.

Of the five largest manufacturing groups, FCA Group managed the largest increase in sales – up 15% compared to January 2016.