Fiat, Toyota lead sales decline in Europe as Audi gains market share

Article by Christian Andrei, on September 18, 2010

Sales of Fiat SpA, Ford Motor Co. and Toyota Motor Corp. in Europe have fallen for the fifth straight month due to the impact of the reduction or termination of government incentives. Notably, Volkswagen AG’s Audi luxury unit increased its market share.

The European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association said that registrations dropped by 12% to 731,503 vehicles in August from a year earlier. Deliveries from January to August have fallen by 3% to 9.3 million.

Fiat had a 24% decline, while Ford fell by 20% and Toyota slipped by 19%. Ian Fletcher, an IHS Automotive analyst in London, said that major markets are affected by a “high baseline last year and the withdrawal of the scrappage incentives.”

He said that carmakers expected this and are currently just “managing as best they can.” Sales of all five of the biggest markets of Germany, Italy, France, Spain and the U.K. have dropped in August.

The prediction of PSA/Peugeot-Citroen SA, Europe’s second-largest carmaker after Volkswagen AG, is that industry-wide European sales will decrease by 7% for the full year, after climbing by 0.6% in the first half.

On July 1, France’s incentive program was reduced to 500 euros for each traded-in car from 700 euros ($650) in the first half and 1,000 euros last year. August registrations in France dropped by 7.9% to 105,166 units. Peugeot sales in Europe plunged by 13% last month. [via autonews - sub. required]

Topics: audi, fiat, toyota, europe, sales

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