So far this year, increased car sales in the U.K. and Italy -- two of the biggest markets in Europe -- along with a rising tide across Central and Eastern Europe, have contributed to a 1.9-percent increase in car consumption across the Atlantic. While the U.S. has traditionally been the world leader in units of vehicles sold, with some 16 million leaving dealer lots in 2006, that might change come the end of this year.
The raw numbers are staggering. In the first ten months of 2007, 13,583,559 cars were sold in the U.S., compared to 13,572,669 in Europe during the same period. That's a difference of just over 10,000 vehicles, and with sales dropping due to rising fuel prices and the credit crunch here at home, Europe has a good chance of knocking the U.S. out of the top spot come December 31st.

Analysts predict that both markets will get close to the 16 million mark by the end of the year, with Europe handily eclipsing the U.S. in 2008.

[Source: Automotive News – Sub. Req.]

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