Automotive News Europe reports vehicle registrations in the European Union fell to 1.08 million in May. That's down from 1.15 million a year earlier and marks the lowest number for any May since 1993. General Motors, Peugeot-Citroen, Fiat, Renault, Ford, Volkswagen and Audi all saw sales fall off last month, though Seat managed to increase its sales by a relatively heady 13 percent. Currently, analysts are predicting that the European automotive market will continue to contract through 2013, though may show signs of rebounding by the end of the year. From there, it may be a further five years before EU car sales recover to their pre-recession heights.

In Germany, new-car registrations fell by 10 percent in May. France suffered a similar fall while Italy saw a decline of eight percent and Spain suffered a dip of three percent. The UK, meanwhile, saw registrations climb by 11 percent. EU heads of state are currently looking for ways to reverse the region's economic decline. Unemployment is now at 12 percent in the 17 countries that make up the European Union.


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  • 15 Comments
      jf.bouchard
      • 1 Year Ago
      Not much to comment on here, really. Broke people usually don't buy new cars, houses or any big ticket items, especially when confidence is low. In one sense it's a good thing that car sales are down, it means people prioritize their finances properly. Food and a roof over your head is more important than a shiny new car.
      dreadcthulhu01
      • 1 Year Ago
      European governments have passed numerous laws that discourage car ownership - high fuel taxes, high road/registration fees, high VATs that make a base Focus cost as much in the UK as a Fusion does in the US, ect. And then they use that tax money to fund public transportation that reduces the need for car ownership. So this decline in car sales should not surprise anyone.
        wilkegm
        • 1 Year Ago
        @dreadcthulhu01
        Hit the nail on the head- you can\'t have a watermellon agenda (green on the outside...) and gripe about it when people stop buying cars. This is really all quite by design.
      ozibuns
      • 1 Year Ago
      "EU heads of state are currently looking for ways to reverse the region's economic decline" Yeah right, like raising income taxes and VAT, and cutting health care subsidies. Cost of living has increased not decreased. How are people supposed to make or increase discretionary purchases when government debt is prioritised above economic growth? What a load of BS, the governments have absolutely no idea how to stimulate this economy apart from bailing out banks and evicting people from their homes.
      wilkegm
      • 1 Year Ago
      I don\'t get it- $8 gas makes ME want to buy a car. The EU is trailing our economic down-turn (recession, depression, repressionwhatever you want to call it) by a few years. Only reason our sales are back up in America is because our demand for cars is pretty inflexible, since our lives are built around it. While new car sales tanked for a while (and the age of the average car increased) eventually old cars do need replacing. Once you release that pent-up demand, you get the sales boom we\'re now experiencing. Hopefully automakers will show some restraint and just pull back all incentives, rather than expanding to meet the demand- only to be left with over-capacity once again.
      knightrider_6
      • 1 Year Ago
      This could be a good news for Toyota, Honda, Nissan etc. If people have limited amount of money, they will be more inclined to buy a reliable car that will last them 10-15 years and needs very little maintenance vs a car with lifespan of 3-5 years like VW, Fiat, BMW.
        wilkegm
        • 1 Year Ago
        @knightrider_6
        Historically, VW and BMW have built cars every bit as durable as Toyota and Honda. IMHO, Nissan doesn\'t even compare.
      ferps
      • 1 Year Ago
      How much longer will they prop up this failed currency experiment called the Euro?
        Essende
        • 1 Year Ago
        @ferps
        Considering that average USA household has a lot higher debt per capita than EU and the current USA economy is prepped up by literally printing of dollars out of thin air and artificially low interest rates (which both of them will not last forever), I would rather worry whats about to happen here in USA in the next 3-4 years... And it ain't gonna be pretty...
          Essende
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Essende
          @icemilkcoffee , yes stimulous measures succeeded in China (high inflation/real estate bubble/entire ghost towns of newly built city yet almost no one can afford it), Japan (lost decade of the 1990s, flat wages, deflation especially of the housing prices, high yen causing manufacturing to move which is Japans bread and butter, not to mention that Japan has one of the highest debt per capita in the world), and USA where wages have been stagnant for the past 8 years, over 40% of population is running on some type of a government assistance, and major reason why car sales are on the rise is cheap credit (exact same thing that caused the real estate bubble) where you can buy a car on an 84 month loan where 10 years ago it was unheard of. It is a house of cards, problem is, that next time when it crumbles, government will run out of ideas how to save anything because printing money can only go that far. I don't know where you are from but most people in my area are either unemployed, underemployed, or worried that they will be fired and replaced with someone for half the wage. Lots of stress involved, basically the actual mood is not the greatest and whatever the TV is telling you has not much to do with reality.
          MZR2.3
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Essende
          yawn....too bad we all can't be starbucks baristas like icemilkcoffee. Oh well, ignorance is bliss I suppose.
      • 1 Year Ago
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      Lachmund
      • 1 Year Ago
      the whole fu**ing system is sick. the world revolution is coming! time to wake up sheepl. (no, i haven't gone insane btw ;)
      • 1 Year Ago
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      • 1 Year Ago
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