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June 13, 2003

BELGIUM: European Union sales down 5.2% year on year in May

Sales of new cars in the European Union were down 5.2% last month compared with May last year, statistics from the European Automobile Manufacturers Association (ACEA) showed, according to Reuters.

By bcusack

Sales of new cars in the European Union were down 5.2% last month compared with May last year, statistics from the European Automobile Manufacturers Association (ACEA) showed, according to Reuters.

“The market is still suffering from the overall economic context and the aftermath of the Iraq crisis,” ACEA reportedly said in a statement.

According to Reuters, the biggest slump was for Fiat, despite a slight increase in market share in its home market in Italy reported earlier this month. Fiat’s sales in western Europe were down 15.9% in May reducing its market share in the region to 7.3% from 8.2% in May 2002.

The news was slightly better for Far East manufacturers, Reuters noted, with Japanese imports up 0.5% in the month and up 4.7% for the first five months of the year compared with the same period in 2002.

Korean imports were up 9.2% in the month and 10.34% in the five-month period, Reuters added.

All EU-based firms, including the European arms of US car makers Ford and General Motors Corp, saw sales drop, the news agency said.

Japanese firms’ western European market share in the first five months was 12.2% compared with 11.2% year-on-year. Korean firms had 3.1% of the market, up from 2.7% in the five-month period of 2002, Reuters said.

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