January Reports Offer Little Hope of Recovery in Europe image

Last month new-car sales in western Europe fell 9.5% to 851,547 units, implying a tough year for auto sales on the continent.

“Challenges for the industry in the region remain significant,” said market forecaster LMC Automotive.

LMC also said that that the seasonally adjusted annualized rate according to last month’s figures was at 10.5 million, a drop of 10.3% compared with the same period in 2012. The main reasons for the worst monthly annualized rate since 1987 are the strikes and the bad weather. Auto sales fell last month in all major regional markets, except for the UK, which saw an increase of 11.5%. recently, the SMMT, the UK auto industry body, announced that the market is expected to increase to 2.06 million units from 2.04 million units in 2012.

In January sales in Germany dropped 8.6%, in France 15%, the lowest monthly level since 1997, in Italy 17.6% and in Spain 9.6%. According to LMC’s forecast full-year sales in western Europe will see a drop of 4.1% to 11.27 million units, the sixth consecutive year of decline. In December new car registrations dropped 16% to 838,428 units from 997,842 units in December 2011, according to ACEA.