European car sales down 6.4% in June image

Car sales in Western Europe fell by 6.4 per cent in June led by a steep drop in the region’s biggest auto market, Germany, data released Tuesday showed.

The automotive forecasting group JD Power said West European seasonally adjusted annualized sales fell to 12.8 million units a year by the end of June.

“But the underlying downshift in demand for vehicles remains, in our view, largely unavoidable,” said JD Power as government-backed auto scrappage scheme are dismantled.

Italy was also hit by post-incentive weakness with the car market there down by 19% and a selling rate of 1.8m units/year. This period of weakness is for Italy is unlikely to recede in 2010, JD Power said.
UK sales held up well, JD power said, considering that scrappage support is beginning to fall away.
Car sales also held up relatively well in France and Spain. In France, a scrappage scheme continues, albeit at a reduced level, while in Spain the funding is very soon to expire. Funding for the Spanish scheme is now assumed to have been exhausted, but the boost to sales could last through August registrations.