New-car deliveries in Europe dropped 5 percent in March 2011 to 1.6 million units, the European automakers association, ACEA, disclosed on Tuesday. Actually, European registrations have been dropping each month except for one in 2010 when the government scrappage programs in core markets ended. In addition, consumers are restricting their spending as the continent fights off a debt crisis.
According to Gian Primo Quagliano, president of Centro Studi Promotor GL Events research group in Bologna, Italy, the end of government-sponsored incentives caused much suffering to automakers especially Fiat S.p.A., Ford Motor Co. and Renault SA.
In fact, these three companies reported large drops in new-car sales in the European market in March 2011. Specifically, Fiat sales dropped 20 percent to 106,836 units, Ford expects a 16 percent decline to 142,789 vehicles and Renault experienced a 14 percent decline to 141,711 cars, according to ACEA.
The trend is expected to be reversed from April. Ford of Europe stated that it is optimistic that its sales will rebound with the help of the company’s new five-door Focus, with at least 10,000 units sold in March.
The new vehicle is still selling throughout Europe. In addition, sales of PSA/Peugeot Citroen SA last month declined 7 percent to 204,347 vehicles. On the other hand, Volkswagen AG enjoyed the sales rebound in its home market in German, with VW Group reporting a 4 percent sales growth to 346,817 vehicles in March.