The German car market was down almost 10% in May according to data released by the KBA.

The decline in May follows a 3.8% gain in April – which was boosted by two extra working days - and will add to concerns that demand in Europe's largest national car market is weakening, despite Germany's relatively robust economy.

Car sales in Germany in May fell 9.9% from a year earlier to 261,316 cars, the German Federal Motor Vehicle Office, or KBA, said. Cumulative sales for the first five months of the years declined 8.8% to 1.22m vehicles.

However, the forecasters at LMC Automotive recently pointed out that the German car market has been running at an annualised rate of around 3m units so far this year. "We expect the German car market to finish the year at around the 3m unit level," LMC analyst Jonathon Poskitt told delegates at an LMC conference in London last month

"To put that in context, a 3m unit level for the German car market is not far off where it has been over the past decade, pre-crisis. There is no reason, at this stage, to see any further deterioration this year and we expect to see some modest growth next year. The German economy is growing, albeit slowly." 

Just released data suggests that the month of May also saw significant year-on-year falls in other West European markets, with the French car market down by over 10%