European car sales post sharpest drop in 15 years

New car sales fell by 7.8 percent in Europe in 2008, the largest yearly drop in 15 years, the European automakers association ACEA has announced. In December alone, registrations decreased by 17.8 percent.


AFP - New car sales in Europe slumped by 7.8 percent in 2008, the biggest annual drop in 15 years, the European automakers association ACEA announced Thursday.

In December alone, European registrations declined by 17.8 percent, the second worst performance of the year following the stunning 25.8 percent drop the previous month.

December's figures, though bad, were cushioned by an average of two extra working days during the month, ACEA said.

European new passenger car registrations fell to 14,712,158 over the year with much of the decline logged in the final quarter after the eurozone officially went into recession.

In western Europe demand fell by 8.4 percent over the year while in the newer, mainly more eastern EU states, the numbers were only 0.7 percent down on the 2007 figures.

Daily newsletterReceive essential international news every morning