Peugeot, Fiat post highest sales decline in Europe image

PSA Peugeot Citroen, Fiat and General Motors lost the highest number of sales in Europe in five months amid the economic slowdown of the region.

New-car registrations in November declined 3 percent to 1.07 million vehicles from 1.10 million in November 2010, the biggest decline since June, according to the Eurpean Automobile Manufacturers Association (ACEA). In the first 11 months of this year, sales also declined 1.1 percent to 12.6 million registrations.

“This minus figure will only get worse in the coming months,” Hans-Peter Wodniok, an analyst at Fairesearch GmbH, was quoted by Bloomberg. He added that unless carmakers schedule production halts in December, their „inventories will be very full, which wouldn’t be good going into a bad 2012.”

Four of Europe’s five biggest markets shrank in November, with Italy and France leading declines with 9.2 percent and 7.7 percent respectively. In France, Peugeot and Renault are cutting production capacity to reduce inventories, while Italy’s Fiat is trying to avoid an increase in debt as the local car market approaches a 30-year low.

Peugeot sales in EU member countries plus Switzerland, Norway and Iceland dropped 13 percent, while Fiat registrations declined 12 percent. General Motors Europe also posted an 11 percent drop.