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October 14, 2004

BELGIUM: Western European new car registrations down 0.6% in September

The European carmakers’ trade body, ACEA, has issued new car sales figures that show a small year-on-year decline in September. Total Western European new registrations in September were 1,353,817 units, down 0.6% on the same month of last year.

By bcusack

The European carmakers’ trade body, ACEA, has issued new car sales figures that show a small year-on-year decline in September. Total Western European new registrations in September were 1,353,817 units, down 0.6% on the same month of last year.

The cumulative new car sales figure for the first nine months stands at 11,191,923 units, 1.5% ahead of the same month last year.

ACEA said that the market’s marginal drop in September points to a flat market situation ‘in an economic context that remains uncertain in a number of countries’.

With the exception of Spain (up by 6.2% on last year) the big national markets all chalked up September declines over last year. Smaller markets showed mixed trends.

However, recently released European market figures released by JD Power-LMC (and published on just-auto) painted a more upbeat picture for the European market that that reported by ACEA and some industry observers.

The JD Power-LMC monthly analysis suggested that after slow sales in the summer months, September new car sales in Western Europe actually bounced back with a surprisingly high seasonally adjusted annualised rate (SAAR) of 14.9 million units (which compares with a SAAR of just 13.7 million units in August). 

Market leader Volkswagen had a poor September with the Volkswagen brand off by 3.9% on last year. It was a bad month for the French: PSA was down 8.3% and Renault was off 5.2%.

However, September was relatively good for Ford and GM, up 5.6% and 1.2% respectively.

BMW was up by some no less than 18.7% in September.

Full details at www.acea.be (go to the left-hand rail and click on press releases).

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