European new car registrations fell by 12 per cent in April, making it a full year since the new car market in the EU recorded anything other than a drop.
Figures published today by the European Automobile Manufacturers' Association (ACEA) show that, of the major markets in western European countries – the old EU 15 – only Spain’s 45.6 per cent year-on-year drop in sales was worse than the UK’s fall of 24 per cent.
Germany’s new car market grew by 19.4 per cent, while neighbouring Austria posted a 12.8 per cent rise, the only western European countries to do so.
Of the major manufacturers present in Europe, only those with a reputation for value for money experienced any significant growth in sales.
Skoda, Chevrolet, Dacia, Hyundai and the Fiat group all recorded year-on-year rises in April, as did VW, although this last was a rise of just 0.7 per cent and no doubt attributable to the German market’s strong performance.
All other manufacturers posted drops in new car sales of between 0.7 per cent (Ford) and 60.4 per cent (Saab).