In Western Europe, new-vehicle sales fell by another 14.2% overall in August, pulled down by significant declines in each of the five biggest countries as well as comparisons to the figures in the previous year that were boosted by big incentives.
The plunge to 664,804 units brings sales in the 17 markets for the 10 months to 8.79 million, a 2.5% drop compared to a year ago.
J.D. Power & Associates Automotive Forecasting considers these August figures to be in line with a prediction that full-year sales will fall about 7% from 2009, to about 12.73 million. Sales in Germany dropped by 27% compared to August 2009.
Germany, which represents the largest market in Europe, benefited extensively from the government incentives offered in 2009. Meanwhile, in France, where there still are some existing incentives, sales fell by 9.8%. J.D. Power also revealed that sales decreases were recorded in Italy with 19.7%; the U.K. with 17.5%; and Spain with 23.8%.
The dealerships in Italy are alarmed by this trend. In a statement, Filippo Pavan Bernacchi, chairman of the Italian auto dealers association, said that this is “another very negative result” after having had “months of bad results.”
He predicted that in 2010, more than half of Italian car dealers will report a strong loss in 2010 and this will force many to shut down. [via autonews - sub. required]