Like US, Europe Sees Big Sales Drop In October
Yes, things are tough all over…
By Brendan Moore
All the Sturm und Drang in the US market has monopolized the media coverage of the auto industry in the US, but Europe is having its own problems in terms of sales declines.
New-car registrations across Europe showed the second-biggest fall of the year last month in October. They were down 14.5 percent last month compared with October 2007, as the same things crushing sales in America, scarcity of credit and the overall economic malaise, put consumers off from all large financial commitments. Now, that’s nowhere close to the 32% decline the US market saw in October, but its still a nasty drop in sales volume. Registrations across Europe totaled 1,134,031 units in October.
“New car registrations have now decreased for six consecutive months, most notably since the summer,” said the ACEA, the association that represents carmakers in Europe.
The worst performers were Ireland, down a staggering 54.6 percent, and Spain, off a breathtaking 40 percent to the lowest level since 1995, ACEA said. The UK market continued to fall sharply with October sales down 23 percent to 128,352 units.
The best performers were Poland, up 12.3%, followed by the other new EU members, which as a group were down only 3.1%, France, where sales fell 7.3 percent to 175,014 units last month, and Germany, which was down approximately 8% for the month compared to last year.
In an example of the old adage that when it rains it pours, GM (Vauxhall, Saab, Opel, Chevrolet, Cadillac) took the biggest hit among manufacturers in Europe with a 25.2% drop in sales, which, although an incredible drop, is a walk in the park compared to the 45% drop they experienced in the US market last month.
And like the US, the automakers in Europe are clamoring for some government help in order to weather the downturn. But those pleas are falling on deaf ears, with only some small sales incentives by individual governments planned in the near future.
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