Friday's auto registration numbers from the European Automobile Manufacturers Association highlighted the winners and losers out of the international emissions' scandal and an increasingly uncertain global economic environment.
Volkswagen (VLKAY) continued to see new registrations of its cars decline in June, with volumes for the Volkswagen models down by 2% and registrations of premium Porsche cars declining by 1.5%. The car maker that is embroiled in an emissions' scandal has been widely expected by analysts to lose market share as a result of its tainted image.
PSA Group (PEUGF) , manufacturer of Peugeot cars, was the second biggest loser of the day with registration volumes reportedly declining by 1.5% at the group level. However, all of the weakness came through in Citroen and the company's luxury brand DS sales, which are most popular in the U.K., Spain and Germany.
Although still a leading source of growth for European vehicle registrations, U.K. and German car markets have been the weakest out of all western European markets in recent months according to EAMA data, which could explain some of the decline in Citroen and DS sales.
The winners in Friday's registrations data were BMW (BMWYY) , Renault (RNSDF) and Japanese companies. Renault Group experienced the greatest growth in new registrations during June, with volumes up by 18.4%, while BMW and Daimler (DDAIF) are also reported to have seen volumes rise by a similar 15.4% each.
Japanese companies featured heavily among the winners in Europe, with Honda (HMC - Get Report) , Mazda (MZDAF) , and Suzuki (SZKMF) all seeing growth in the high double digits, although registrations of Mitsubishi MMTOF cars fell by 20% during the period.
The EAMA report paints a positive picture for car manufacturers as a whole during June and the first half of 2016. June marked another step of a winning streak for manufacturers, with registrations up by 6.9%, while growth in the first half of the year was reported to be an even higher 9.4%. European automotive demand was led first by Italy, and then by Spain, France, Germany and the U.K.
"In June, the European passenger car market grew strongly for its 34th consecutive month," said the report.
But the positive numbers and the upbeat tone of the report did little to lift the mood among investors in Europe's automotive manufacturers, who dumped shares of sector constituents during the day.
The car manufacturers fell in tandem with growth-sensitive sectors including mining and banking amid concerns emanating from a terrorist attack in the French city of Nice. The attack left at least 84 people dead.
Peugeot was the biggest faller, with the shares falling by 1.5%, to €11.84. The stock was tracked closely by emissions' implicated manufacturer, Volkswagen, whose shares fell by 0.94% to €116.15.
It is possible that investors have been reluctant to bid for European car makers given uncertainties created by the U.K.'s vote to leave the European Union. In their July 12 review of the sector, analysts at Barclays warned that their would be a lag of several months before investors would be able to gauge what the effect of Britain's vote to leave has been on auto sales in Europe.
European automotive data reflects the number of new vehicle registrations in any given month, but it can be up to two months after the initial sale before vehicles are registered with authorities
Given the high cost of automotive, new car purchases can often be one of the first things to get canned by households when economic conditions cool off.
Key trends driving enthusiasm, or the lack of it, toward car manufacturers is their relative commitment to getting ahead of the game in autonomous driving and hybrid or electric cars, according to analysts at UBS and Berenberg.