New car registrations in Europe dropped in April compared to last year, the first year-on-year decline for ten months.
The numbers, published by the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association, Acea, reveal 1.14 million cars were registered, which is down 7.4% on 2009.
Acea reported the fall – almost 25% in certain countries – came as the various government scrappage incentives designed to encourage sales of new cars were wound up.
The scrappage programmes succeeded in boosting sales, but now they have either already finished or are ending soon, sales have dropped when compared to 2009.
Acea said in a statement: “In the first months of the present year … government support has ended or begun to fade out and the economic situation remains difficult.”
Germany, whose scrappage scheme ended in September, saw the greates tyear-on-year decline in registrations, with a fall of 31.7% on April 2009.
France, whose scrappage scheme is still running, even though it is at a reduced level of subsidy, saw a 1.9% rise in registrations.
With regard to manufacturers, the obvious winner was Japan’s Nissan, which gained 38.3% rise in new Nissans on the road in April compared with 2009.
BMW recorded an increase of 13.1%, while Renault sales rose 8.7%.
Fiat was the biggest loser with registrations dropping 27.3%, Toyota – which has seen a raft of high-profile safety recalls – saw its sales reduce by 20.7%, while General Motors saw registrations decrease by 19.1%.