New-car registrations in western Europe suffered a 9.5-percent year-on-year drop to 851,547 units in January 2013, providing a glimpse of what to expect for the full year, according to market forecaster LMC Automotive. LMC remarked that challenges for the auto industry in western Europe remain significant, adding that the seasonally adjusted annualized rate [SAAR] based on January 2013 figures was at 10.5 million, signifying a 10.3-percent drop over 2012.
LMC noted that while some of the decline in demand could be attributed to bad weather and strikes, the monthly annualized rate for January was the worst since 1987. Car sales slid in all of the major regional markets in Europe in January, except in the UK where registrations surged by 11.5 percent.
The UK auto industry body SMMT forecasted last week that they expect the auto market in the country to soar to 2.06 million in 2013 from 2.04 million in 2012. Auto sales in January 2013 dropped 8.6 percent in Germany; around 15 percent in France; 17.6 percent in Italy; and about 8.6 percent in Spain. According to LMC, full year sales in Europe will drop 4.1 percent in 2013 to 11.27 million units, marking the sixth straight year of decline in the region.