The impact of government scrappage schemes continues to dominate European auto sales. As the chart shows, sales were up 9.2% in Q1, and March was up 10.8%, versus 2009.
On a national basis, Germany continued its decline after the end of its scheme, with sales down 26.6% in March. But this was offset by UK sales of almost 400k, as the government focused on supporting the economy ahead of next month’s election. Sales were so high, that the UK was the strongest national market in Europe.
Italian sales were similarly up 20%, France up 18%, whilst Spain was up 63% – in March 2009, it had been down 39%. Hungary, facing major economic problems, sold 4371 autos, only 1329 more than last month.