Registrations of new vehicles in Europe have fallen by 8.2 per cent year-on-year in September, according to figures just released by the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA).
The figures show that the financial crisis is affecting sales across the continent, but they also prove that Britain is suffering worse than most, with UK sales declining by 21 per cent in September year-on-year.
The ACEA says that demand for new cars is weakening as buyers shy away from making large purchases, and as customers struggle to find credit to buy cars with. The September sales figures are the lowest since 1998.
Sales in France actually increased slightly, growing 8.4 per cent after a poor August, while Germany was down 1.5 per cent and Italy fell by 5.5 per cent. Big losers included Spain (sales down 32.2 per cent), Ireland (down 40.7 per cent) and Iceland (down 47.6 per cent).
Among manufacturers, GM sales fell by 18.1 per cent, PSA sales by 9.0 per cent and Fiat group sales by 1.4 per cent. Despite disastrous UK sales, Renault’s European position held up surprisingly well (down 2.1 per cent), while Volkswagen Group actually increased sales slightly – up 1.4 per cent.