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EU new car sales tumble up to 37%
News agency Reuters is reporting another dismal month of car sales across Europe, as the figures for September in France, Italy and Spain plunged as much as 37% year-on-year.
Car executives gathered at the 2012 Paris Motor Show suggested recovery could take years rather than months, even if there are some mitigating circumstances for this particular September.
That headline fall came in Spain, where an increase in sales tax last month prompted some pre-emptive purchasing in August, while the introduction of a new scrappage scheme incentive at the start of October has encouraged other buyers to hold off until this month.
In Italy, however, sales fell 25.7% – the worst performance since March this year, when a car-hauler’s strike had a significant impact; there was no strike to blame in September.
Meanwhile in France, sales fell 18% – the country’s 11th straight month of decline. The predicted overall slump for 2012 has been increased to 12% as a result, compared to the previously estimated 10% fall.
Moving beyond this general picture, here are some of the more interesting results for individual car manufacturers.
Renault fell 36% at home in France and a massive 51% in Spain – but proving just how tricky market conditions are in Spain, Volkswagen also dropped 44% there in September. Ford suffered significant losses, too: 40% in Spain, 35% in France.
On a more positive note, interest in the new 208 supermini has kept Peugeot buoyant in France, where it fell only 1%. This is in contrast to partner brand Citroen, which lost 10% in the same region.
Fiat, which dropped 32% in France, managed the difficulties in Spain relatively successfully with only a 13% fall – largely thanks to an 82% increase in sales of its Panda supermini.
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