Early estimates for new car sales in western Europe in December suggest that the market was extremely strong, once again underpinned by the manufacturers' wish to reduce stock and the impact of incentives. Sales in Germany were, for once, particularly vibrant in spite of continuing uncertain signals on the economy - again, a sure sign of incentive activity. But underlying demand conditions are less strong than the December result suggests and some weakening of the market could be in prospect for the early part of 2005. JD Power-LMC reports.