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Fiat, Ford lead monthly sales decline in Europe

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Fiat, Ford lead monthly sales decline in Europe

Paul McVeigh November 16, 2010 12:37 CET

Fiat S.p.A., Volkswagen AG, Ford Motor Co., Opel/Vauxhall, Renault and PSA/Peugeot-Citroen all saw steep declines in their European new-car sales in October as the region's auto market fell by 16.1 percent to 1.06 million units.

Fiat brand led the decline with a 36.4 drop in volume last month followed by Ford, whose sales were down by 29.3 percent, according to figures released on Tuesday by ACEA, the European automakers association.

Renault brand sales fell 21.5 percent, PSA's volume was down 19.1 percent, while Opel/Vauxhall sales declined 18.7 percent and Volkswagen brand sales dropped by 13 percent.

Mass-market carmakers are seeing demand for their cars wane after the expiration of government trade-in incentives.

A bright spot was luxury brands. Premium carmakers BMW and Audi saw sales rise 6.2 percent and 2.2 percent respectively, although sales at rival Mercedes-Benz brand fell 2.5 percent.

The falling volume “continues to show the difficulties faced by the car industry in the region,” after scrappage programs “heavily boosted” sales a year ago, Jonathan Poskitt, an analyst with J.D. Power & Associates, said. “The underlying weakness of the market is being revealed” as the subsidies end," he said.

Spain suffers biggest slump

European demand is declining as governments end or trim subsidies that were put in place last year to aid the auto industry during the global recession.

The region's five biggest car markets of Germany, Italy, France, Spain and the U.K. all contracted by more than 18 percent last month, with sales in Spain slumping 38 percent, the steepest drop.

The October decline was the seventh consecutive monthly drop in European car sales. Ten-month sales are down 5 percent to 11.6 million.

Read more: http://www.autonews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20101116/ANE/101119895/1401#ixzz15SQbEMQJ

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