European carmakers’ sales slow in August as crisis hits demand

City A.M. Reporter
MONTHLY car registrations fell again in France and Italy in August with mass brands suffering most as Mediterranean countries bore the brunt of the Eurozone debt crisis and its withering effect on consumer demand.

French sales tumbled 11 per cent to 96,115 cars in August, for a tenth monthly decline, the CCFA industry association said yesterday, while Italian sales fell 20 per cent to 56,447 units, their ninth consecutive double-digit fall, according to automotive think tank Promotor.

The August decline led Promotor to trim its full-year forecast to 1.370m units from a previous 1.379m, itself a cut from an outlook of more than 1.4m units at the end of June.

“Without intervention to help boost the purchasing power of families via tax reductions and a relaunching of consumption it will be very difficult to see any sign of recovery,” Jacques Bousquet, president of Italy's car industry association UNRAE, said yesterday.

Spanish car sales rose 3.4 per cent as customers rushed to complete purchases and beat a sales tax rise in September.