Monday 13 September 2010

Cars sales down across Europe (EU)

Car sales across Italy Spain, France and the UK plummeted during August after Government incentives were wearing thin or ended.

Italian car sales dropped by 19% to 63,000 units last month while Spanish car sales plunged by a massive 23.8% to 44,578 units. French sales were down 9.8% when the scrappage scheme was near end with British car sales falling by 17.5% to 55,305 for the second month in a row. The decline comes in advance of the introduction of the September ‘60’ plate, and the market for newly registered cars is expected to fall by around 10% this month, from 367,929 units last year, even though over the first seven months of 2010 the market remains 13.2% above 2009 at 1,300,413 units. The best-selling car was the Ford Fiesta with 2,660 units.

Federauto president, Filippo Pavan Bernacchi said Italian dealers would have to cut about 15,000 of their current 178,000 jobs to survive in the declining car market.

A French consumer credit agent said car sales will continue to show year-on-year falls in France in the coming months. Sales were exceedingly strong in the months in late 2009, when buyers took advantage of the €1,000 bonus before it was reduced.

In Spain, Government funding to help people buy new cars ran out 1st July, at the same time as a jump in their value-added tax (VAT) was introduced.

In the UK, the scrappage scheme ended in March with the scrappage blues settling in July. The full year estimate suggests 2010 registrations will finish at approximately 2m units, a 1.2% boost from 2009.

Paul Everitt, SMMT chief executive, said: “New car registrations were down 17.5% in August and conditions will remain challenging through the rest of the year. The industry enjoyed a better than expected first half of the year and, despite the difficulties, SMMT is forecasting that new car registrations will close just ahead of 2009 figures.”

Diesel cars saw their market share achieve another unsurpassed peak of 52.6% during August. For the second month in a row, sales of superminis and city-cars have been sluggish with sales of MPVs (Kia Venga, Peugeot 5008, Ford Galaxy), SUV’s (Mercedes GL, Toyota RAV4, Daihatsu Terios), and mid-sized executive and luxury saloons (Hyundai Grandeur, Citroen C6, Mercedes S-Class, Jaguar XJ) being very strong.

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