Western European passenger car registrations decreased 8% to 1,275,692 units in June 2002,compared with June 2001, according to the European Automobile Manufacturers Association (ACEA).

Compared to June 2001, there was one working day less in June 2002 in seven countries and one day more in four countries. The cumulative figures for the first half of 2002 show a decline of 4.5% both in Western Europe and in the 15 EU countries.

According to most forecasts, the relative weakness of the market in the first half of the year, due to the general economic climate, has now stabilized, ACEA said.

“The market should partly recover in the second half of the year, before going back to a growing trend in 2003.”

Germany (+1.8%) posted an encouraging result in June, while only three other countries ended the month with positive figures: Denmark (+9.6%), Finland (+4.8%) and Luxembourg (+0.6%).

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All other countries reported a decrease, ranging from -3.7% in the United Kingdom (which had been on a growing trend since October 2000) to -17.4% in Spain.

Five countries ended the first half with positive figures: Denmark (+12.6%), the UK (+6.2%), Luxembourg (+4.8%), Finland (+4.1%) and Belgium (+1.2%).