Car sales in France and Spain continued to slide in the first quarter of the year with the French market hardest hit, down 21.7%, according to figures from the Committee of French Manufacturers (CCFA).
Last month sales fell by 23.5% following a drop of 20.2% in February. The slide is partly explained by strong sales a year ago which were boosted to a 10-year high by a French scrappage scheme that subsidised new car purchases.
A total of 507,089 vehicles were sold in the first quarter of 2012 in France, down from 647,454 in the same period a year earlier.
Domestic manufacturers PSA Peugeot Citroen and Renault, which account for over half of the market, each saw their sales fall 30% while foreign car makers overall saw a drop of 9.3%. High-end manufacturers BMW and Mercedes were seemingly unaffected, posting sales increases of 8.4% and 24.2% respectively.
Spanish car registrations fell 4.5% on the year in March as consumer spending continued to dip. Manufacturers’ association Anfac reported that 84,427 cars were registered last month, down from 88,397 a year earlier. In the first quarter, car registrations fell 1.9% to 204,119 units.
Last week, data from the National Statistics Institute showed that retail sales had fallen 4% on the year in the first two months of the year, another indication of the weak economy.
How well do you really know your competitors?
Access the most comprehensive Company Profiles on the market, powered by GlobalData. Save hours of research. Gain competitive edge.
Your download email will arrive shortly
Not ready to buy yet? Download a free sample
We are confident about the unique quality of our Company Profiles. However, we want you to make the most beneficial decision for your business, so we offer a free sample that you can download by submitting the below formBy GlobalData
The government expects the economy to shrink by 1.7% on the year in 2012, hurt by government spending cuts and efforts by households and companies to reduce debt.