Toyota, Ford and Peugeot Citroen saw European car sales hit a new low last month, seeing 2013 begin with a decline of 8.5%.
According to the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA) January 2013 was the slowest since 1990 with registrations falling to 918,280 new cars. This is largely due to cutbacks in European production capacity, as regional sales fell 26% for Ford and 16% each for Peugeot and Toyota. Car demand in the Eurozone is expected to contract further as 2013 continues and the majority of manufacturers predict a shrink of between 3% and 5%.
Despite this bleak outlook, there are hopes that the European economic upturn will eventually have knock-on effects for the car industry. Indeed, some German manufacturers are already proving themselves resilient in this harsh climate. BMW sales are rose 9.4% in January and Mercedes-Benz showed a 4.7% rise, so the forecast is not so grim as it may initially seem.
Economic commentators and motor industry professionals will continue to track sales trends and the effect of economic recovery on new car sales. Though the climate is still uncertain, modest signs of recovery are beginning to show. For more information on this and other industry news, stay tuned to this blog and our Twitter and Facebook accounts.