Auto sales in Germany dropped 10% in May, a sign that the crisis-hit European market will not recover this year.
The drop in Germany’s auto sales, Europe’s largest market, followed declines in Spain, Italy and France and showed that the 2% rise in Europe auto sales in April was only due to extra sales days as Easter holidays. Passenger car registrations in Germany fell 9.9% to 261,316 units, according to the Federal Transport Authority, after an increase of 3.8% in April.
The brand which saw the steepest decline was Opel, down 16%, while VW fell 10%, Fiat 11% and Ford 1%. The brands which saw sales increase were VW’s Seat, Land Rover, Jaguar, Porsche and Mazda. Fleet customer sales dropped almost 14% and 4% in sales to private customers. From January to May auto sales in Germany fell 8.8% to 1.22 million units. Sales in France fell 10.3% in May, Italy was down 7.9%, Spain dropped 2.6%, as the decline was limited by a government subsidy to vehicle buyers.
It’s been five years since automakers have been struggling with sales contraction in Europe, many hoping that the fall this year will not surpass 5%.