Western Europe's car market held up well in 2001. The latter part of the year was pretty strong and overall, the market finished slightly up on 2000. Competitive conditions and low or falling prices along with low interest rates have kept car sales moving more strongly than many anticipated. But 2002 looks to be off to a slow start, with demand weakening in Italy and, despite appearances to the contrary, the UK. The selling rate of 14.6 mn units/year was lower than in any month since last March.