Market dips -- as uncertainty here only adds to difficulties
SALES across Europe are heading for a 17-year low, according to latest expert analysis and forecast.
So far this year they have fallen the fastest in two years as concerns about debt and flagging German demand keep buyers away.
The dip in the German market is seen as having the most salient impact.
Four of the really big markets give a clear indication of just how steep the fall has been and how serious the decline has become.
Germany is down 11pc, France 18pc, Italy 26pc and Spain 37pc.
Those are substantial fall-offs by any standards.
Registrations plunged 11pc to 1.13 million vehicles last month from 1.27 million a year earlier.
The figures were compiled by the Brussels-based industry association ACEA.
Of course our market -- tiny by European standards -- has also been hit by poor demand. But instead of attempting to give it some sort of boost or at least leave it alone, we are faced with increased outlay for the 'privilege' of owning a car.
The fact is that people need cars but many are putting off the decision for obvious harsh economic reasons -- as well as the Government hiking up costs.
The difficulty with that is that apart from facing higher repair bills and running costs, they face a huge outlay when they do come to buy because their trade-in will have gone down so much in value.
September was the 12th consecutive monthly drop and the biggest decline across Europe since October 2010.
ACEA compiles the sales figures from the 27 EU members as well as Switzerland, Norway and Iceland.
Opel has proposed closing a factory in Bochum, Germany, at the end of 2016 in the first shutdown of a car plant in the country since World War Two.