European auto sales continue to slide in October

Trevor Hofmann - CAP staff
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Those automotive brands that chose not to return to the North American market when they had the chance during the heydays of the '90s and early '00s, might be wishing they'd reinvested when they could. For years we heard rumours that brands like Alfa Romeo, Peugeot, Renault, and others were about to reenter the U.S. market, with expectation that these brands would also be sold across the 49th here in Canada. The only brand that took up the challenge was Fiat, with its tiny 500 hatchback and 500c convertible, and while sales in a fairly slow U.S. market haven't met expectations, North American retailers are certainly doing better than those in Fiat's home country, Italy, or anywhere else in cash-strapped Europe for that matter.

Overall, European auto sales have plunged 7.3-percent during 2012, with the single month of October's decline being 4.8-percent according to Automotive News Europe. The market's strongest sales were in the UK where deliveries actually increased by 12.1-percent during October. The UK, of course, isn't part of the European Union and therefore doesn't use the much-maligned euro, giving it much greater stability than its continental neighbours. Markets like Greece, Italy, Spain, Portugal, and the list goes on, experienced much worse auto sales than previous years.

Volkswagen continues to be Europe's bestselling brand, only showing a sales decline of 0.5-percent, while other automakers seemed to walk over a double-digit fiscal cliff. Renault, for instance, watched its deliveries drop a staggering 25.5-percent in October, while Ford, Europe's second bestselling brand, only experienced an 8.3-percent decline.

With Europe now officially in recession, there's no end in sight for beleaguered automakers or their struggling retailers.
©(Copyright Canadian Auto Press)

Topics: Ford, Renault, Volkswagen, Europe,

Organizations: Volkswagen

Geographic location: Europe

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