Registrations for new cars in the European Union slid 1.7% in 2013, manufacturer data showed Thursday, although country figures were varied, with Britain showing a big increase while sales in Italy and France slumped.
A total of 11.8 million new cars were sold across the bloc last year (not including Malta), according to the data from the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA).
The 1.7% decline compared with 2012 confirmed a lingering morosity in the European Union (EU), which is still struggling after four years of a Eurozone debt crisis.
However, the decline was markedly less than the 8.2% dive recorded in 2012 – which was the worst result for 18 years – suggesting the overall market could be stabilising. In the last four months of 2013, registrations actually climbed, and December recorded a 13.3% increase.
The situation was brightest in Britain, an EU country that is not a member of the Eurozone, with a 10.8% increase in new car registrations in 2013.
Beleaguered Eurozone members Italy and France had a far worse year, with registrations plummeting 7.1% and 5.7%, respectively.
The EU’s biggest economy Germany saw registrations slide by 4.2%.
Japanese carmaker Mazda performed the best in EU-wide car sales, lifting registrations of its brand 16.1% across the bloc.
Jaguar Land Rover also did well, up 9.7%, while France’s Renault managed a 4.4 percent hike.
Those left with smaller slices of the market were French group PSA Peugeot Citroen – which US auto giant General Motors is selling out of – after an 8.4% plummet in registration, and Italy’s Fiat – which this month took over US number three carmaker Chrysler – after a 7.1% slump.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 19th, 2014.