German new car sales fall for 11th month running: ministry

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New car sales fell in Germany for the 11th month running in October, the transport ministry said on Tuesday, but the drop was not as sharp as those seen earlier this year in Europe's biggest car market.

A total of 256,775 automobiles were registered last month, a VDA statement said, a drop of 20 percent from October 2009, when shoppers benefitted from a cash-for-clunkers subsidy of 2,500 euros (3,500 dollars).

The level in October showed German sales essentially back at their level in 2008.

Since January 1, a total of 2.42 million cars have been registered in Germany, a drop of 26.8 percent from the same period a year earlier, the ministry data showed.

Germany's auto federation VDA is to release its own figures on auto exports and production later in the day, and those are expected to show gains for companies like BMW, Mercedes Benz and Volkswagen.

VDA has already raised slightly its full-year sales forecast to some 2.9 million vehicles, which would nonetheless represent a drop of nearly 25 percent from 2009.

Exports are tipped to gain 21 percent however and overall output is expected to be at least 10 percent higher.

© 2010 AFP

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