New car sales in Eastern Europe dropped again in the third quarter of 2009, with industry analysts claiming the figures show the "true" level of demand for new cars across the continent.
Government-backed scrappage incentive schemes are not as common in Eastern Europe as in the west. The relative lack of schemes forced year-on-year sales down 32 per cent, with 213,086 units sold in the 11 countries included in the figures.
JATO Dynamics, the industry analyst that compiled the figures, said: "Eastern Europe is suffering far more than western markets. Of course, the worrying thing here, for Western Europe, is it reveals the ‘true’ level of demand for new cars, when the cushioning effect of scrappage and other incentives is removed."
Poland and Slovakia were the only Eastern European countries to post sales increases of 5.6 and 8.1 per cent respectively. Sales in Hungary were down 74.7 per cent, with sales in Latvia down 73.9 per cent.
Skoda remained the region's biggest-selling manufacturer, shifting 27,646 units in the period, but this was still a 32.7 per cent drop on last year. The Skoda Octavia was the biggest-selling model, followed by the Skoda Fabia and Dacia Logan.