Car Sales in Europe Drop in February Led by Sharp Decline in Germany image

The drop in European auto sales continued last month led by a sharp decline in Germany, the biggest market in the region.

In February new vehicle registrations dropped 10% to 829,359 units from 923,553 units in February 2012, according to ACEA. Sales in January and February fell 9.3% to 1.75 million units, while in January sales dropped 8.5%. The unemployment rate continues to increase as the recessions continues to dramatically affect the 17 countries using the euro.

The biggest sales falls last month were posted by Fiat and PSA Peugeot Citroen, while Italy drops were exacerbated by an inconclusive parliamentary election. According to ACEA, deliveries in western Europe dropped 10% to 774,415 units.

“Economic and political uncertainties, combined with different carbon dioxide-based vehicle taxation policies across Europe result in a very mixed picture for the car market,” said Allan Rushforth, senior vice president and chief operating officer of Hyundai’s European business.

Last month, four of Europe’s five biggest auto markets shrank, with Italy down 17%, Germany down 11%, Spain down 9.8%, while the UK increased 7.9%. VW, which is Europe’s largest automaker, reported a drop of 7.2% in February, with Skoda down 12% and Audi 3.8%. BMW’s sales dropped 2.8% after a 6.4% increase in January.