Following a brief upswing in July, car sales in the EU slumped back to a new annual low in August. The latest figures show that Europe’s car manufacturers are headed for the worst year since records have been kept.
New car registrations in the 28-nation European Union in August have fallen 5 percent from the same month a year ago, the European Automobile Manufacturers' Association (ACEA) said Tuesday.
With sales of just about 653,000 passenger cars in the month, the slump had been even more striking when compared with July, when 982,000 cars were sold in Europe, the ACEA noted in its release of the latest sales figures.
For the period between January and August, new registrations declined 5.2 percent to about 7.84 million vehicles, the ACEA added, which was the lowest sales figure for the first eight months ever recorded since the group started keeping records in 1990.
In 2013, most major markets faced a downturn ranging from minus 3.6% in Spain and minus 9% in Italy to minus 9.8% in France. In the German car market, which defied the crisis for several months due to the robust economy, demand also contracted 6.6 percent over the period.
Britain was the only market to perform better than in the first eight months of 2012, with sales surging 10.4 percent.
As a result of the EU car crisis, the continent's once-strong automobile industry had suffered heavy losses, the ACEA said.
Germany's Volkswagen group was off 11.2 percent in August, while France's PSA Peugeot Citroen slipped 17.3 percent. Ford sales were down 1.5 percent, and General Motors' European subsidiary Opel slumped 3.4 percent.
Only luxury car makers did better this year than last year, with Daimler selling 8.9 percent more cars and BMW rising 9.5 percent.
uhe/tj (AP, dpa)
China’s government has for the first time ignored a call for help by a company unable to pay interests on its debt. Beijing’s decision to allow Chaori Solar default is a sign of a stronger role granted to market forces.