The sales figures for the first half of 2019 have been known for a few weeks, but auditing and consulting firm Ernst & Young has just published their findings. While the car industry has been moving from success to success over the last few years, the current year is clearly turning the corner. Worldwide, only four of the top 16 carmakers increased their sales in the first half of 2019: Mitsubishi, Honda, Toyota and BMW.
The Bavarians are therefore the only German carmaker who can report positive numbers for the first six months. As we have already reported, BMW had a strong performance in the premium segment and is one of the market leaders in electric cars and plug-in hybrids.
However, the summary produced by EY shows that the relative weakness of competition is not limited to the premium segment: even in the volume market, sales of most car makers are decreasing.
“The global automotive industry is experiencing a sales and profit crisis that is still primarily cyclical,” said Constantin Gall, head of Automotive and Transportation at EY.
French and U.S. car manufacturers recorded the sharpest declines in vehicles sold, of ten percent and nine percent respectively.
Among the largest automobile groups, Toyota was “slightly ahead” of Volkswagen with a sales growth of four percent while the German car giant recorded a minus of two percent.
“All major sales markets are shrinking, resulting in greater price pressure and declining margins. In addition, there are high investments in areas such as autonomous driving and electric mobility,” Gall commented.
However, the majority of companies were able to increase their revenues, “thanks in particular to the SUV boom.”
Overall, the revenues of the 16 largest automobile manufacturers rose by 1.3 percent, reaching a new record high, the study found.
The strongest growth was achieved by the German manufacturers with an increase in revenues of 5.2 percent, ahead of the French groups with 4.7 percent.
On the other hand, revenues by U.S. companies declined by 3.0 percent while Japanese manufacturers saw their revenues decline by 1.3 percent.
“In the coming years, the cards will be shuffled, Gall said. “Stricter emission limits and the rise of electromobility are causing unprecedented upheaval – not all companies will be up to the task. The development and introduction of low-consumption engines, new electric cars and new mobility services will require enormous investment in the coming years. “