January was a very disappointing month as far as the West European car industry was concerned. For those who lack any standard for judging the figure other than the very crude one of comparing total sales during the month with the figure for the same month of the previous year, it may not appear too bad. When final figures are in for all the late-reporting countries, we would expect it to show an increase of one or two percent on this basis. But in reality it was much worse than that comparison suggests, for two reasons.