2000 ended on a strong note for the West European car industry. Demand recovered strongly from the weakness that had been seen during the two preceding months, with a seasonally adjusted selling rate for the month of a little over 15.5 mn cars/year. This brought total sales during the year to 14.94 mn units, a decline of just under 2% on the figure for 1999. (The figures to be published by ACEA in a few days time may show a slightly lower number, and thus a slightly larger decline. The main reason for this is that they count only UK sales through dealers, omitting vehicles imported personally or by intermediaries).