Fleet News

Third quarter rise in new car prices bolsters ‘flat sales’

NEW car prices across Europe increased more quickly during the third quarter of this year, a new survey has found.

Average prices at the end of the third quarter were 4.4% higher than a year ago.

This contrasts to an annual rise of 3.9% at the end of the second quarter of the year, the pricing survey produced by PricewaterhouseCoopers and eurocarprice.com found.

The companies say European new car sales remained flat overall, growing just 0.2% compared to the previous 12 months.

It adds: ‘With the exception of the buoyant lower-medium sector, sales fell in all segments. The largest drop in volume

(-10.3%) was in the mini segment, which also saw some of the largest price rises, averaging 6.3%.’

PricewaterhouseCoopers UK automotive leader Chris Hibbs said: ‘New model launches and facelifts over the past 12 months are driving strong increases in volumes and in turn prices are rising. Within the mini segment the average price is about e3,000 lower than in the small segment and margins are generally lower, so setting the right prices at the outset is essential. ‘Additionally, the production lifetime for a mini segment model can be more than 10 years, so it is essential to establish sustainable margins on new models.

The index is described as a volume-weighted measure of relative new car prices and found that Denmark is the most expensive car market in Europe with prices 92% higher than the eurozone average. The least expensive market during the third quarter of the year was Switzerland, at 10% below average.

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