European car market is finally stabilizing, report says

Article by Christian A., on October 22, 2010

When analyzing the Europe Union's September passenger car sales, we can find signs that the market finally is stabilizing, even as recovery still looks difficult.

ACEA, the European automakers association, said that for September, the EU's industry car sales totaled 1.2 million units, a 9.6% drop from a year ago.

Actually, this is better than the year-to-year comparisons for July (which declined by 18.6%) and for August (which fell by 12.9%). In addition, industry sales were a bit lower than Europe's 1.3 million units sold in September 2008.

Auto sales are expected to be comparatively weak for the rest of 2010 when compared to last year, when the scrappage schemes of France, Italy and the UK were still in effect. Colin Couchman, a London-based analyst for IHS Automotive, said that sales will stabilize in 2011.

Couchman said that for the last three months, the company was still “in heavy negative territory,” but he is hopeful that “things will improve from there.”

IHS forecast that EU's car sales should total 13.11 million units in 2011, which is very close to the expected sales this year of 13.09 million units.

IHS said that of the four largest markets in western Europe, Germany will recover first since it eliminated its incentive in September 2009 and has survived the worst of the downturn with the end of the scrappage programs. [via autonews - sub. required]

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