One of the key ways that new car sales are monitored every month is via new car registrations since automakers don’t offer up monthly sales stats. The most recent stats are in for April 2019 for Europe and overall new vehicle sales in Europe dropped. The decline in overall sales hit Ford with a significant decrease in registrations for the month.
Ford saw a 5.1 percent decline in new vehicle registrations. Ford wasn’t alone in seeing new registrations decline in Europe with Nissan seeing a 17 percent decline, VW registrations fell 6.8 percent, and Audi registrations were down 5.8 percent. FCA saw Fiat registrations drop 3 percent with Jeep down 5.3 percent.
The most significant drop was Alfa Romeo with registrations down 40 percent. Some Ford Europe competition did see growth, Seat registrations gained 3.2 percent, and Skoda gained 2.3 percent. Dacia saw a gain in registrations of 15 percent. BMW and Mercedes both saw registrations grow at 12 percent and 2.8 percent respectively.
April marks the eighth consecutive month that new car sales have declined in Europe. Reports indicate that consumers aren’t making big purchases over the fear of Brexit turmoil. Ford Europe has been spending millions in preparation for a hard Brexit. Reuters said last month that Ford had spent tens of millions of euros on foreign currency exchange funds and in shifting inventory between countries and on other preparatory measures. Ford Europe chairman Steven Armstrong said the money was wasted in a best-case scenario.
Ford is also in the middle of restructuring operations in Europe. It announced this month that it was going to cut 550 jobs in the UK. The bright side of that announcement is that Ford was offering voluntary severance to the workers. All of the workers Ford was trying to shed were office workers, not workers from its assembly plants.