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Business

European New Car Sales Fell in February

European new car sales fell by 4.1 percent in February compared to February 2004 amid a fluctuating economic climate, the European Automobile Manufacturers Association (ACEA) said Wednesday. A total of 1,050,725 new vehicles were registered, with the ACEA pointing to a "slow start to the year within an economic context that is still fluctuating." In the first two months of the year, registrations fell by 2.3 percent in the 26 countries surveyed, compared with the same period in 2004. The ACEA based its results on the 25-member European Union minus Cyprus and Malta but adding Iceland, Norway and Switzerland. The Volkswagen group remained the biggest car maker, with 190,762 sales in February, a drop of 3.5 percent on the year. Peugeot Citroen PSA of France was second with 160,006, and Ford was third with 107,626. Among the five largest EU markets, France was the only one to record rising sales, adding 3.1 percent to 159,803 units. Britain showed a sharp drop of 15.7 percent to 77.092 and Italy was down by 5.5 percent at 195,518. German sales decreased by 2.3 percent, while Spain showed a slight drop of 0.7 percent.

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