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News : EU Economy Last Updated: Apr 17, 2013 - 4:06 PM

European demand for new cars down in March for 18th straight month
By Finfacts Team
Apr 17, 2013 - 2:53 PM

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In March, European demand for new passenger cars was on the decline for the 18th straight month, totaling 1,307,107 units. Over the first quarter of 2013, new car registrations amounted to 2,989,486 units, or 9.8% less than in the first three months of 2012.

New car registrations in Europe in 2012 were at the lowest since 1995 as the number of new cars registered fell 8.2% to a total of 12.05m vehicles, according to the European Automobile Manufacturers' Association (ACEA - - - - Association des Constructeurs Europeens d'Áutomobiles). The decline - compared to the previous year - was the steepest since 1993, when annual sales contracted 16.9%.

In March, the UK remained a resilient market, posting a 5.9% growth, while Italy (-4.9%), Spain (-13.9%), France (-16.2%) and Germany (-17.1%) saw their demand decrease. Irish demand dipped by  (-10.4%)

Overall, the EU* recorded a total of 1,307,107 new cars, or 10.2% less than in March 2012.

From January to March, except for the UK (+7.4%), all major markets faced a double-digit downturn ranging from -11.5% in Spain to -12.9% in Germany, -13.0% in Italy and -14.6% in France. Overall new car registrations decreased by 9.8% in the first quarter, compared to the same period a year earlier.

Bloomberg reports that General Motors, "armed with its best vehicles in a generation," posted a 3.6% increase in global sales during the first quarter, keeping its lead over Volkswagen AG by about 90,000 vehicles.

Chevrolet sales in the US. and Buick demand in China helped GM deliver 2.36m cars and trucks in the first three months of 2013, the Detroit-based company said yesterday. VW said April 12 that sales during the period rose 5.1% to 2.27m. Toyota Motor Corp., which outsold both companies last year, hasn’t reported global delivery figures yet.

Volkswagen, based in Wolfsburg, Germany, reported a 5.9% sales decline in Europe that was offset by gains in the US and China. The company, with brands including Audi and Porsche, said its US sales rose 15% to 142,800 and China deliveries increased 21% to 633,900.

Tables including sales by brand [pdf]

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