German car sales plunge by 27 percent in August: trade data

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New car sales in Germany plunged by 27 percent last month owing to exceptionally strong results in August 2009, data from the automakers' federation FDA showed on Thursday.

Exports showed a gain of 12 percent to 252,550 vehicles meanwhile, a pace that was nonetheless somewhat slower than in recent months.

For the first eight months of the year, exports gained 36 percent compared with the same period in 2009.

"We expect a stabilisation at an acceptably high level," VDA president Matthias Wissmann was quoted by a statement as saying.

In Germany meanwhile, a total of 201,000 new vehicles were registered in August, a figure that compared unfavourably with the same month in 2009 for the ninth month running owing to a car scrapping scheme that boosted domestic sales last year.

Foreign brands took a bigger hit than German models, with a drop of 34 percent and 23 percent respectively.

Other European countries have reported similar slumps following the end to the so-called cash-for-clunkers schemes.

In Spain, new car sales fell by around 25 percent in August to their lowest level in more than 20 years.

Italian registrations were off by 19 percent, and French sales were down by 9.8 percent.

© 2010 AFP

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