Tuesday, January 17, 2012

European Car Market Slipped in 2011

European Car Market
The European car market fell by 1.4% to 13.6 million vehicles in 2011, marking the fourth-consecutive annual decline and the outlook for this year looks bleak as tough austerity measures are expected to eat into demand.

“In 2011, most of the significant markets declined,” the European automobile manufacturers association, or ACEA, said Tuesday in a statement.

The French market dwindled by 2.1%, the U.K.’s fell 4.4%, while new-car registrations in Italy contracted by 10.9% and in Spain by 18% year-to-year, reflecting the region’s economic woes, particularly in Southern Europe, ACEA said.

Still, Germany—Europe’s largest car market—posted an 8.8% increase compared to 2010, backed by a more robust economy and better consumer confidence. There was a similar divide between car categories, with makers of luxury cars faring better than mass-market manufacturers. Registrations for BMW AG rose by 7.7% last year to 810,199 cars in Europe, helped by a 19% rise at its Mini brand. German rival Daimler AG’s market share in Europe was flat year-to-year as it eked out a 0.4% rise to 671,480 cars in 2011. Volkswagen, Europe’s largest car maker by sales, posted a 7.8% rise in new-car registrations to 3.17 million vehicles, driven by its luxury Audi brand as well as its VW and Skoda brands.

Thanks: http://blogs.wsj.com/drivers-seat/

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