Auto market in western Europe heads toward level last seen in 1993, as consumers’ concerns about the economic crisis and unemployment keep them away from showrooms.

According to industry data published today, November 2nd, France hit its 12th straight month of losses, demand in Spain continued to decrease, while Germany managed to reach an increase of 1% last month in new auto sales. Analysts expect auto sales in western Europe to fall below the 12 million target in 2012 and 2013, a level last seen in 1986 and 1993, when auto industry fell to 11.3 million vehicles.

“Currently there is no early indicator or other hard data pointing to an improvement in the next few months,” said Ulrich Winzen, chief forecaster in Germany for auto industry consultant R.L. Polk.

While Germany still manages to do well among the European crisis, the southern part of the continent continues to struggle with supply-side reforms, budget cuts and tax hikes. On September 1st Spain was implementing its fiscal consolidation programme raising value-added tax. By the end of the month the country was reporting sales down 22%.

Among all the bleak predictions about the auto industry, Ulrich Winzen still hopes that auto demand in Spain, Italy and France will stabilize by the end of 2013, helping doomed automakers such as Peugeot and Fiat.


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