In February, new car registrations in Europe continued in a downward trend since October 2011, reaching their lowest level with less than 800,000 units. In total, 795,482 new cars were recorded in the EU*, or 10.5% less than in the same month last year. From January to February, demand for new cars declined by 9.5%, amounting to 1,681,073 units.
The data was issued by the European Automobile Manufacturers Association (ACEA - - Association des Constructeurs Europeens d'Áutomobiles ), which represents the interests of the fifteen European car, truck and bus manufacturers at EU level.
In February, the UK was the only country to post growth (+7.9%). All other significant markets faced a downturn ranging from -9.8% in Spain to -10.5% in Germany, -12.1% in France and -17.4% in Italy. Sales in Ireland dipped 7.6%.
Two months into the year, Germany (-9.6%) and Spain (-9.7%) performed similarly, compared to the same period a year earlier. France (-13.5%) and Italy (-17.3%) recorded a double-digit downturn, while demand was sustained in the UK (+10.3%).
Motor sector executives across expect a very difficult year for the industry with only 30% of respondents polled by the PwC auditing and consulting company forecasting rising revenues throughout 2013, indicating executive in the industry were far more skeptical than their counterparts in other sectors.
The survey said carmakers selling in Europe would be in reverse gear for much of the year, with output expected to drop by 1.2% to total 15.6m units.
However, the PwC poll also showed that a number of German car makers such as Volkswagen, BMW and Audi may well once again buck the trend and at least reach last year's sales levels in Europe as a whole and the German market in particular.
* EU27, data for Malta unavailable
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