New car sales in Western Europe fell by 10.4% in September, according to a new report by J.D. Power Automotive Forecasting.
The UK based market research company now expect a 6.4% decline to 12.8 million units in the region’s car sales for this year, followed by a 1.8% drop to 12.57 million units in 2011 as government austerity measures dampen large consumer purchases.
“The market continues to compare poorly year-on-year to a 2009 market that was inflated by government scrappage incentives,” J.D. Power said in a statement.
The company said an annualized selling rate of 12.4 million units is weak by historical standards — Western Europe’s car sales reached a high of 14.8 million in 2007 — “but at least it is an improvement on the past few months.”
In Germany, sales fell by nearly 18% last month with the year to date market down over a quarter at 27.5 percent.
“The selling rate in Germany remains below 3 million units a year, highlighting that the German consumer remains cautious even though the economy has been performing well recently,” J.D. Power said.
The French market witnessed an 8% drop in September and is the only major market in the region with a scrappage scheme still operating, although it is being phased out, while car sales in Spain declined by 27% , hit by the ending of scrappage and a rise in VAT.
The Italian market was down 19% while, as we know, UK car sales fell 9% in the “60” plate change month.
J.D. Power said sales will continue to decline in the remaining months of 2010, adding “we do not expect that 2011 will beat the 2010 market.”
Uncertainty continues over the impact of the austerity measures now being adopted by European governments and because of continuing sovereign debt worries. “The risk of a double-dip recession certainly cannot be overlooked,” the forecaster said.
Source: Automotive News