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Auto Industry

European car markets contract further

Most European countries have logged another reduction in new car registrations, amid stuttering economic performance and rising unemployment across much of the continent. All German brands suffered dips, apart from BMW.

European car sales took yet another tumble in November, the Brussels-based European Automobile Manufacturers' Association (ACEA) reported on Friday.

It said new registrations plunged for the 14th consecutive month, falling by 10.3 percent in November year-on-year.

"The situation in western Europe remains tense," the German Automobile Association VDA commented, pointing to many markets being in recession and suffering the affects of fiscal austerity and record-high unemployment.

Debt sufferers see slowest sales

The most dramatic drops were logged in Greece, where sales plummeted by 47.2 percent, and in Portugal, which posted a 25.4-percent drop year-on-year. Even the continent's biggest car market, Germany, saw new registrations contract by 3.5 percent last month.

Almost all German carmakers were affected by the downward trend, including Volkswagen and Opel. Only BMW posted an increase of 0.1 percent in November, the ACEA reported.

Among all European auto makers, the French Renault Group was worst hit by sluggish demand, logging a 27.7-percent decrease in monthly sales.

hg/msh (dpa, dapd)