European car demand lowest in two decades

Marion Dakers
THE EUROPEAN car market rolled further downhill in June, taking the half-year sales total to its lowest level in 20 years.

Last month, motorists in Europe registered 6.3 per cent fewer new cars than in June 2012, piling further misery on manufacturers like Peugeot, which is closing factories due to the prolonged slump.

The UK was the biggest of the 10 nations posting a rise in sales, with showrooms shifting 13.4 per cent more cars than a year ago.

Spanish sales slipped 0.7 per cent, Germany fell 4.7 per cent and France declined 8.4 per cent, according to the figures from the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association.

In Ireland, new registrations fell by almost three-quarters to 1,673.

Total new registrations in the EU and European Free Trade Association hit 1,175,363 units in June, the lowest monthly level since 1996. In the first six months of the year 6,895,875 cars were sold, down 6.7 per cent to mark the worst half-year performance for two decades.