Europe experienced a decline in car sales in April, the 12th drop in 13 months, with Renault SA and PSA/Peugeot-Citroen SA topping the list. Deliveries dropped 3.8 percent from the same month last year to 1.13 million vehicles, according to the European automakers association ACEA. Sales during the first four months in Europe plunged 2.4 percent.
Even as the broader economy rebounds in Germany, which is the biggest vehicle market in Europe, and in other countries, the progressive withdrawal of scrappage payments has weighed down car sales.
France was the last major country in Europe to scrap the payouts, which it did on December 31. The country bore the brunt of the hangover among the four largest markets with an 11 percent plunge in April registrations.
That contributed to Paris-based PSA's 18 percent decline to 132,949 European registrations, while smaller domestic rival Renault reported a 13 percent drop to 105,799 units. Moreover, Italy-based Fiat S.p.A. recorded 82,315 registrations, a decline of 7.8 percent.
However, Volkswagen AG, which is the biggest vehicle manufacturer in the region, countered the European decline with a 3.7 percent sales growth to 276,002 units, aided by the 2.6 percent increase of its home market of Germany.
The government in the country was one of the first to end incentives in 2009. The vehicle market in Europe has shrunk for the past three years, falling to 13.8 million automobiles in 2010 from 16 million in 2007, which is the last year wherein deliveries gained based on the figures of the carmaker association.