European car sales take another dive | Business| Economy and finance news from a German perspective | DW | 19.03.2013
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European car sales take another dive

The car market across Europe has shown no signs of recovery yet. Latest sales figures have shown a further decline in new registrations in almost all of the EU's 27 member countries, and the market remains volatile.

In February, new car registrations in the European Union pursued the downward trend commenced in October 2011, reaching their lowest level with less than 800,000 units.

According to statistical data provided by the European Automobile Manufacturers' Association (ACEA), the 795,482 new cars recorded in the EU in February marked a 10.5-percent drop, compared to levels reached in the same month last year. From January to February, demand for new cars declined by 9.5 percent, ACEA reported.

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The future of VW is overseas

The association added that last month the UK was the only country to post growth (+7.9 percent). All other significant markets faced a downturn ranging from -9.8 percent in Spain to -10.5 percent in Germany and -17.4% in Italy.

Challenging business environment

Automobile sector executives around the globe expected a very difficult year for the industry. Only 30 percent of respondents polled by the PwC auditing and consulting company predicted rising revenues throughout 2013, indicating that entrepreneurs in the auto industry were far more skeptical than their counterparts in other sectors.

The study said carmakers selling in Europe would be in reverse gear for much of the year, with output expected to drop by 1.2 percent to total 15.6 million units.

However, the PwC poll also showed that a number of German auto makers such as Volkswagen, BMW and Audi might again buck the trend and at least reach last year's sales levels in Europe as a whole and the German market in particular.

hg/dr (dpa, Reuters)

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