France the Most Affected by the European Auto Slump image

As the economic gloom continues to spread, PSA Peugeot Citroen and Renault led a 10% drop in European auto sales, the first double-digit fall in more than two years.

According to the Association of European Carmakers, the French automakers were the most affected by the economic gloom and weak demand, followed by GM and Fiat. In November, total new car sales in Europe reached 965,918 units, while during the January- November period automakers sold 11.69 million vehicles, a decline of 7.2% compared with the same period last year. As December is not expected to bring much change, Europe is heading towards 12.2 million total sales, the lowest level in almost 20 years.

Peugeot, which saw its sales drop 16% in its home market, announced it will cut 10,000 jobs in France and close a plant near Paris in 2014. Renault’s sales in November also dropped 27%, as the economic crisis has affected its Dacia brand, which until now has stood against the worst of the slump. Germany, Europe’s largest auto market, saw its sales fall 3.5% in November and 0.5% in October. VW, Europe’s largest car maker, saw its sales down 2.5%, GM and Fiat fell 13% and Ford 10%.