Any improvement in the troubled auto sector is extremely good news for the chemical industry, after the battering of the past few months. Thus the blog welcomes news, as the chart shows, that European sales increased 2.4% in June, the first rise for over a year.
Government support for scrapping older cars has led the way. The German market is up 41% versus 2008, and may hit 4 million sales in 2009. Italy was up 12% and France 7%. But the UK and Spain were both down 16%, as homeowners worry about negative equity.
Analysts JD Power warn that the market could collapse again, if the schemes are not renewed for 2010. They suggest Germany, for example, could see a 35% fall to 2.6 million sales. But for the moment, at least, government action on both sides of the Atlantic continues to keep chemical and polymer sales moving through the auto supply chain.