West Europe: New car sales down 1.3% in October – report image

New vehicle sales in Western Europe declined by 1.3 percent mostly because of weak consumer confidence in crisis-hit Europe.

LMC Automotive reports that the market continues to struggle under difficult economic conditions with this reflected in a seasonally adjusted annualized rate (SAAR) of sales of just 12.3 mn units/year.

In Germany, the largest European car market, new passenger car registrations in October were 1.0% higher on the year at 258, 000 after an 8.1% annual gain in September, the industry association VDIK reported. France also posted an increase of 2.8 percent in October to 176,203 vehicles.

While countries around it struggle, the French market remains relatively robust with the second month in a row achieving a selling rate of 2.16 mn units/year.

The UK market was up 2.6%, a good result given the weak consumer confidence; the selling rate climbed to 1.94 mn units/year.


However, in Italy new car sales in October fell 5.5% from the same month last year to 132,703 vehicles from 140.418 vehicles, the Italian transportation department said.

“The ongoing recession and further reduction to consumption by families hit by restrictive fiscal policies and rising unemployment will also impact demand for new cars next year,” UNRAE managing director Gianni Filipponi said in a statement.

In addition, Spain recorded what was called “the worst October in history”, with a sales plunge of 6.7% reaching the 1993 figures.

According to the data provided by the ANFAC – the Spanish Automotive Association and salespeople (GANVAC), in Spain were sold 57,278 vehicles in October, with 6.7 percent less than in the same month last year.