Regarding the European car market, the news has been bleak all year. Auto sales on the continent have fallen by 7.3 percent in 2012, but for October the drop wasn't as bad, at 4.8 percent according to Automotive News Europe.

The UK managed to increase sales by 12.1 percent, but other markets including Greece and Italy continued to show a weakening market for new cars. While many automakers saw double-digit drops (or close to it), Volkswagen saw sales dip by only .5 percent, holding the automaker's spot as Europe's top-selling brand. Ford is Europe's second-best-selling automaker, and it saw a drop of 8.3 percent in sales. One of the hardest hit automakers in October was Renault, whose sales plummeted 25.5 percent over last year.


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  • 33 Comments
      Bloomsbury
      • 2 Years Ago
      It's a mixture of things. European's bought A LOT of new cars during the 'good times'. People were getting new company cars every two years and BMW became the new middle class car instead of a Ford/Vauxhall. Since that was only being made possible on this scale by irresponsible borrowing, it's not too surprising to see these drops. Despite people not having the money, they now have a taste for premium. They'd much rather buy a 3-5 year old premium car than go back to buying a 'lesser' car. Due to the previous levels of new cars being sold, there's now a huge amount of used inventory at great prices, making the new cars look even less attractive. You have to remember too that if you bought a 5 year old car back in 2000, the 1995 car you were getting was a world apart from what was available new. However progress has slowed down now, a 2007 car is often perfectly decent vs the 2012 model (sometimes better!), so people are more willing to buy a 'good' used car vs whatever 'ok' new car they can afford. It's a similar situation with PCs and flat-screen TVs... progress has slowed down and you now have longer periods between upgrading. If the economy is a worry and you don't need to upgrade, why would you?
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Bloomsbury
        [blocked]
      Jason Krumvieda
      • 2 Years Ago
      I am surprised Spain wasn't mentioned. With 58% of the young people unemployed they have no money to buy cars.
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Jason Krumvieda
        [blocked]
      KAG
      • 2 Years Ago
      A huge world wide depression and gas in Europe equal to a $10 a gallon who can afford to drive there.
        • 2 Years Ago
        @KAG
        [blocked]
      Rasky
      • 2 Years Ago
      Send the excess Scirocco's over to the states! We'll buy them! :)
        brandon
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Rasky
        No kidding, such a great looking car. I can't believe they haven't tried to bring it over at all.
      Carlo Simongini
      • 1 Year Ago
      Hi to everybody. To see more over the European car market, with data updated at November, please check this site: http://focus2move.com/item/350-european-car-market-dropped-100-in-november-2012-greece-down-47 you can also find info on over 67 world's car markets, by brand and by model.
      Richard
      • 2 Years Ago
      You mean...super high tax rates, 0 ability to fire workers, ridiculous benefits, and basically basing your economy on ripping off tourists doesn't work in he long run? Huge shock...
        icemilkcoffee
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Richard
        Actually the EU economy didn't spiral downwards until they decided to cut government spending in the face of the recession. This caused them to go into a double dip recession. It's sometimes hard for people to grasp- but the government needs to spend more in the times of recessions, to balance out the weak spending in the private sector.
          Dart
          • 2 Years Ago
          @icemilkcoffee
          Um...No. The EU countries cut spending in the face of mounting debt that resulted from the years of unsustainable government spending and reckless borrowing. They got away with it when the economy was good, but the recession and loss of jobs hit their tax rolls, and now they must cut to make their debt payments. High gov't spending is exactly the problem in the US. We have a recklessly high national debt...THAT is scaring people and keeping them from spending money...and people must spend money to grow the economy.
          sparrk
          • 2 Years Ago
          @icemilkcoffee
          That's what the smart countries did, Keynesian economics in time of crisis.
      XJ Yamaha
      • 2 Years Ago
      Not gonna lie, that's a pretty sexy VW.
        JayH
        • 2 Years Ago
        @XJ Yamaha
        I agree. and I usually don't find VWs sexy... this one is really beautiful.
      speterjr
      • 2 Years Ago
      Perhaps getting more of those hot little European-market cars on the North American market would help assuage Europe's economic woes. The European market is not large enough to support those models by itself.
      coriolis
      • 2 Years Ago
      Oh Scirroco, how I long for you....
      sinistro79
      • 2 Years Ago
      The declining market is a testament to the quality problems that have plagued European manufacturers for decades. Many Japanese and American brands now offer 5-year basic warranties or guarantee their product for 100k miles. Meanwhile, the Europeans will only give consumers a 36k mild warranty for their cars. Now that the Europeans have recently gotten over their xenophobic tendencies and are buying more foreign products, their domestic brands are disintegrating before their very eyes. This is precisely why Fiat bought Chrysler; they needed a reliable American brand to offset their loses domestically because nobody wants European cars anymore.
        Jonathan Knapman
        • 2 Years Ago
        @sinistro79
        Eh? Vauxhall offer an 100,000 mile/unlimited warranty, whilst Chrysler's UK warranty of two years unlimited mileage is nothing special and shorter than virtually every French and German offering. Given that the only major American brand in Europe is Ford, whose European cars are all designed and built in Germany anyway, your notion that Europeans are turning away from European brands doesn't really hold water. Indeed, it is only Kia & Hyundai that are currently challenging the established players, whilst Chrysler/Lancia are selling absolutely minute numbers of American designed cars. Yes the European car market is in a dire state, however the top sellers are still overwhelmingly European designed and built cars.
        icemilkcoffee
        • 2 Years Ago
        @sinistro79
        Toyota only offers 3yr/36,000. Yet Toyota is widely hailed as the master of reliability.
          brandon
          • 2 Years Ago
          @icemilkcoffee
          Because just about every independent report out there shows them leading the pack in reliability. I guess every "consumer" reports style magazine, is wrong? Or payed off, right? rolleyes.
      • 2 Years Ago
      [blocked]
        icemilkcoffee
        • 2 Years Ago
        Actually this is what happens when countries follow the austerity policies. Austerity means government spending cuts, as espoused by republicans in the US. Aren't you glad that we live in the US and not europe in the last 4 years?
          brandon
          • 2 Years Ago
          @icemilkcoffee
          You're an idiot. If it is "austerity" that lengthens these messes, then WHY DID THE GREAT DEPRESSION LAST LONGER THAN A DECADE? WHY DID JAPANS LOST DECADE LAST LONGER THAN A DECADE? Geez, it's this mentality that has prevented us from getting back to growth. The only time true "austerity" was tried in this country, recession of 1920, we WERE BACK TO "FULL" EMPLOYMENT IN 18 MONTHS.
        Shiftright
        • 2 Years Ago
        Sucks to lose huh?
          brandon
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Shiftright
          We lost before the election was ever held. There was no choice in that election that was worthwhile.
      Lucky Vanos
      • 2 Years Ago
      Just came back from London last week & with the price of gas,insurance,MOT there its no wonder the younger generation can't even afford 5 yr old clunkers. Luckily the public transport in most of Europe is top notch & not inhabited by crack heads/pedos/psychos like the US.
        DeathKnoT
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Lucky Vanos
        One thing i do have to say. Public transportation never has a boring day in the US. I have some hilarious stories.
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