EU Economy
European car sales in June were at lowest level since 1996
By Finfacts Team
Jul 16, 2013 - 10:13 AM

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European car sales in June were at their lowest level since 1996. The UK market was the only one that bucked the trend.

Registrations of new cars in the 28-member European Union totaled 1,134,042 in June - - a drop of 5.6% compared with the same month last year, the European Automobile Manufacturers' Association (ACEA - - Association des Constructeurs Europeens d'Áutomobiles) said Tuesday.

United Kingdom sales grew 13.4% while deliveries in France dipped 8.4%, ahead of Italy's 5.5% drop and Germany's 4.7% slide.

Irish sales were off 73.7% in the month and 20.2% in the half year.

In the first half of 2013, 6.2m cars were shipped to customers in Europe, about 6.6% fewer than in the same period last year.

In the first half of 2013, Volkswagen (VW), Europe's biggest car group, reported last Friday that deliveries to markets in Europe slumped 3.5% to 1.87m. However, the decline in Europe was more than offset by booming demand overseas.  

The VW brand in China expanded 4.4% to 2.9m cars. China growth was also strong for VW's premium brand, Audi, which sold 6.4% more in the Asian country, boosting sales to 780,500 units.

Global unit sales for VW's 12 brands, in the first half of 2013, grew to 4.7m cars - - up 5.5% compared with 2012.

On Tuesday, Norbert Reithofer, BMW chief executive,  said he expected the European car slump to continue well into 2014. Markets in Italy, Spain and France would remain tight, he told the German financial newspaper Börsenzeitung.

"Perhaps we'll see a modest recovery in Western Europe in the second half of 2014," he said, adding that in the meantime he expected manufacturers to increasingly resort to discounts and bonuses to maintain sales.

Tables of brand sales and markets [pdf]

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