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Car sales in Europe remain sluggish

Car sales in Europe have declined steadily since October 2011 due to lower consumer confidence brought on by the debt crisis and generally weaker economic results. The auto industry has responded with discounts and incentives, but these efforts have not overcome the industry’s substantial headwinds.

According to ACEA (the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association), new passenger car registrations declined by 2.8% in June in the EU 27 countries, continuing the downward trend commenced in October last year. In total, 1,201,578 new cars were registered in June. New car registrations totaled 6,644,829 units for the first half of the year, down 6.8% compared to the first six months of 2011.

June results were diverse across the EU 27 countries. Germany (+2.9%) and the UK (+3.5%) posted growth, while Spain (-12.1%) and Italy (-24.4%) contracted. The French market remained stable (-0.6%). From January to June, Germany (+0.7%) and the UK (+2.7%), the two largest markets, performed better than in the first six months of last year. Downturn prevailed in Spain (-8.2%), France (-14.4%) and Italy (-19.7%).

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