UK new car sales jump as unemployment hits rest of the EU hard

New car sales in the UK bucked the European trend in June, rising by over a tenth year-on-year while high unemployment hit the rest of the EU hard.

The European Automobile Manufacturer’s Association (ACEA) said that new car sales in the EU as a whole fell by 5.6 per cent in June 2013 compared to the year before. Registrations fell 6.3 per cent to 1.18m vehicles, compared with 1.25m cars a year earlier. The ACEA added that last month’s figures were the lowest for any June since 1996.

In particular, new car sales in Germany, Italy and France saw demand fall by a respective 4.7 per cent, 5.5 per cent and 8.4 per cent. Meanwhile, Fiat, Peugeot Citroen and General Motors saw sales fall a respective 12.6 per cent, 10.8 per cent and 9.9 per cent.

The UK was the only large market to see a rise in new car registrations, with a 13.4 per cent rise compared with May last year – its 16th consecutive monthly jump.

Ford, which is embarking on a major restructuring process and forecasting a loss of around $2bn in Europe this year, saw sales grow 6.9 per cent. Seat also enjoyed a 12.2 per cent increase in sales, and Renault-owned Dacia a 17 per cent rise.