The start of 2011 is expected to be bleak for the automotive industry in Europe due to economic challenges and the end of scrappage schemes. The impact is evident in the automobile sales in November. Sales were seen to decline in Italy, France and Spain. But car sales in Belgium, which never had a scrapping scheme, increased by 15.4%.
Meanwhile, Italian car sales dropped by 21% year-on-year in November. According to Thinktank Promotor, Italian car sales are not likely to hit pre-crisis levels until 2014.
In a statement, Italian foreign carmakers association UNRAE said that there were more than 160,000 orders in November, standing for a more than 20% drop from a year ago.
UNRAE said that sales were boosted late last year when consumers hurriedly sought to take advantage of scrapping bonuses before they ran out. UNRAE explained that this is why there’s such a wide gap.
UNRAE predicted full-year sales of 1.95 million units in Italy, compared with 2.16 million in 2009. It also said that for 2011, it doesn’t appear like the trend would be reversed.
In Spain, car sales fell 26% year-on-year in November. Spanish carmakers' association ANFAC said that bonuses ran out at the start of July and this coincided with an increase in value-added tax.
In a statement, ANFAC said that for the Spanish market to return to levels “more in line with the economic development of the country," it has to regain consumer confidence, cut the unemployment rate, and get back to a more normal credit situation. [via autonews - sub. required]