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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