New-car sales in March 2011 rose in the French and German markets but sales in Spain, Italy and the United Kingdom dropped as they have yet to recover from the economic crisis and as they feel the brunt of the ending of scrappage schemes last year.
Specifically, Germany’s car sales increased to 327,921 units last month, which is 11.4 percent from the same month in 2010, the KBA federal motor transport authority revealed.
In the first quarter of 2011, the country’s sales increased 13.9 percent to 763,403. According to the head of European sales forecasting for J.D. Power Automotive Forecasting, Jonathon Poskitt, in an interview with Automotive News Europe, said that low employment rate and improved consumer confidence contributed to the positive car sales figures in the German market.
On the other hand, new-car sales in France increased to 257,631 in March, or 6.1 percent, as disclosed by automakers’ organization CCFA.
The positive figures in the French auto market were attributed to the expiring scrappage program, which allowed people to trade in their old car models for new ones.
Those who have bought vehicles before the scheme’s expiration last December had until March 2011 to register them, which means that last month should reflect the program’s effects on the auto industry. According to Patrick Blain, president of CCFA, the French market is forecasted to decline 8 percent for this year, compared to a previous forecast of a 10 percent decline.