New car sales plummeting in western Europe

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Car Rental News - 08/12/2008


In November, new car registrations in the UK were at their lowest levels in 28 years, signalling a sharp drop in sales.

In the UK, November registrations dropped sharply by 37 per cent, as compared with November of 2007. This represents the steepest decline since June 1980 and also a continuation of the steady decline that has been experienced since the spring of this year.

In western Europe, November new car registrations are also expected to show a significant decline over October, when they dropped by 15 per cent. The figures are due out mid-December.

Throughout Europe, November numbers show how widespread the downturn has become. In Spain, new car registrations have dropped by 50 per cent, in Italy, by 30 per cent, by 18 per cent in Germany and 14 per cent in France. Germany’s report was the most dismal since the country reunified in 1990, and the decline in Spain was its worst since January of 1993.

Tighter credit is one of the causes of the downturn in new car purchases. The squeeze in available money worldwide means that individuals, short-term car rental operators and corporate fleet managers are forced to delay their purchases, as they find that credit and leasing agreements are not as available as they used to be.

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