New car sales in Europe slip in April

16th May 2007, Comments 0 comments

BRUSSELS, May 16, 2007 (AFP) - New car sales in Europe fell by 0.6 percent in April because of weakness in Germany, France and Spain and despite strong performance in eastern Europe, the European automobile association ACEA said on Wednesday.

BRUSSELS, May 16, 2007 (AFP) - New car sales in Europe fell by 0.6 percent in April because of weakness in Germany, France and Spain and despite strong performance in eastern Europe, the European automobile association ACEA said on Wednesday.

Registrations of new passenger cars in Europe -- comprising the EU members except Cyprus and Malta, plus Iceland, Norway and Switzerland -- totalled 1.292 million units in April compared to 1.299 million a year earlier.

"While the new EU member states enjoyed the fourth consecutive month of growth, western Europe performed below the trend," ACEA said in a statement.

The German car market, the biggest in Europe, was particularly weak, with registrations, dropping seven percent over the period and continuing a weak trend since a sales tax hike at the beginning of the year.

The French and Spanish markets were nearly as weak, with registrations tumbling five percent in France and six percent in Spain.

However, the European Union's newest member states, mostly former communist countries in eastern Europe, saw registrations jump 12.9 percent, extending a positive trend into the forth month running.

Among the major brands, Europe's leading carmaker VW Group saw sales ease 0.2 percent in April over one year while France's PSA Group, the second-biggest European carmaker, saw sales rise 1.5 percent.

They were followed by US carmakers Ford, which saw sales rise 2.4 percent, and GM, which saw sales fall 4.7 percent.

Fiat's recovery after several lean years continued to gather steam as its sales surged 8.0 percent while Renault's sales tumbled 10.5 percent.

Toyota enjoyed strong growth in February with its sales rising 1.3 percent while German luxury car maker DaimlerChrysler saw sales drop 4.6 percent and rival BMW saw an increase of 2.6 percent.


Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

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