Euro car sales plummet to two-decade low

Just three months ago, as of April, the story was that the European car market registered its first gain in 19 months, consumer confidence was up "higher than average" and observers were hoping the month could be the first footstep in the trek to "legitimate recovery," even though Europe's four-month sales were down seven percent. The stats for June are a return to dark portents, with Bloomberg now reporting that sales for the month haven't been this bad since 1993. As a result, investor confidence in Germany has taken a dive and Eurozone exports have fallen for a second straight month.

There were 1.18 million cars registered in June, which represents a 6.3-percent decline from a year before. The overall seven-percent decline in car sales remained on track, the half-year number of 6.44 million vehicles sold so far this year being a 6.7-percent drop from 2012 (that number also being the smallest number of cars sold since 1993). The UK market was the only bright spot, jumping by 13 percent but being more than offset by Germany's 4.7-percent decline and France's 8.4-percent drop.

No one expects it to get better, either, one analyst saying "I don't think that it will get better in the very near future," Renault, Peugeot and BMW saying they expect a five-percent decline year-on-year, and another analyst opining that perhaps the best that can be said is that perhaps things are bottoming out, but that's "not the same thing as saying they have started to recover."

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