French bear brunt of EU slowdown in car sales
FRANCE'S Peugeot Citroen and Renault led a 10pc decline in Europan car sales in November, the market's first double-digit contraction in more than two years as economic gloom spread east and north.
The French suffered most – closely followed by GM and Fiat – as demand weakened sharply at home, in Germany and in eastern Europe, according to data published yesterday by the Association of European Carmakers.
Total European registrations fell to 965,918 cars for the month and 11.69 million for January-November, down 7.2pc on the same period last year.
"European end market weakness is showing no signs of abating," London-based Credit Suisse analyst David Arnold said.
With December a seasonally weak sales month, Europe appears on course to record a similar drop for the year as a whole, to about 12.2 million total sales – its lowest in close to two decades.
"Tough times clearly still lie ahead for Europe's mass-market car players," the Credit Suisse analyst said.
Paris-based Peugeot, scrapping more than 10,000 jobs and a car plant to stem losses, suffered a 16pc sales slide as its home market shrank 19pc.