European new car sales fell for the first time in 10 months in April after the withdrawal of several scrappage incentive schemes across the continent.
According to industry association ACEA, a total of 1,171,044 units were registered in Europe in April, a 6.9 per cent drop on the same month last year.
Europe's new car registrations were hit by a sharp decline in Germany where sales were down 31.7 per cent on April 2009. The German scrappage scheme ended in September and sales have been in decline ever since.
ACEA believes that 2010 will be a difficult year for new car sales with the continued uncertain economic situation across Europe and the withdrawal of scrappage schemes. Reduced schemes in France and Spain are now in operation, while the UK's own scheme ended in March.