Europe sees 17-year low for new car sales
Wednesday, 28 August 2013
Europe’s car market is continuing to suffer, with record unemployment driving car sales to a 17-year low.
Registrations of new cars across the European Union fell 5.6 per cent year-on-year to 1.13 million in June, the lowest since 1996, according to the European Automobile Manufacturing Association (AMEA).
Unemployment in the European Union has risen to a record high of 12.2 per cent, following recession for six consecutive quarters, with member states adjusting to painful government austerity schemes.
BMW chief executive, Norbert Reithofer, has said he expects the European car market to contract by five per cent this year:
“Little will change until the middle of next year. Perhaps we will see a slight pick-up in western Europe in the second half of 2014.”
BMW sales fell 7.7 per cent year-on-year to 76,463, with VW declining 4.4 per cent and Audi 8.9 per cent. Peugeot, who cut 11,000 jobs from its French production facility, suffered from double digit sales declines.
Renault was the only brand to display positive growth, with an uptake in its Dacia brand, which increased 16 per cent vs. last year. Their popular ZOE range, which offers electric power, is becoming more and more popular, with prices at affordable levels for the passenger car market.
Ford, who recently closed three European factories, saw sales rise in June, recording an 8.1 per cent rise in new registrations.
France was the worst hit, with a decline of -8.4 per cent, followed by Italy (-5.5 per cent), Germany (-4.7 per cent) and Spain (-0.7 per cent).
However, the British car market has performed admirably well, with sales rising 13 per cent year-on-year. Easing credit conditions means accessing capital for new cars is relatively easy. The Government is also making the car industry a priority, keen to build competitive advantage with the development of new technology.
Government car scrappage schemes, which were phased out in 2010, have been replaced by the Plug-in Car Grant, which provides new low-carbon car buyers with £5,000 off the value of a new car.
If you would like to take advantage of the government’s latest incentives, why not trade-in your old vehicle for a newer, low-carbon version.
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