European auto sales down 1% so far in 2011

EU autos Sept11.pngMost of Europe goes on holiday in August, and so it is only now that auto sales for July and August have been reported.

As the chart above shows, the monthly sales figures continued the weak trend seen so far this year (red square):

• July’s sales of 1 million were the lowest in the 2005-11 period
• August’s sales of 750k were lower than any year except 2010
• Total sales of 8.9 million were down 1% versus Jan-Aug 2010

ACEA (Association of European Auto Manufacturers) also note that only Germany is showing any strength amongst the 5 main markets. It is up 11% in 2011, but France is at 0%, the UK down 6%, Italy down 12% and Spain down 22%.

This does not provide much confidence regarding the Q4 outlook for chemical and polymer demand in this important sector.

About Paul Hodges

Paul Hodges is Chairman of International eChem, trusted commercial advisers to the global chemical industry. The aim of this blog is to share ideas about the influences that may shape the chemical industry over the next 12 – 18 months. It will try to look behind today’s headlines, to understand what may happen next in important issues such oil prices, economic growth and the environment. We may also have some fun, investigating a few of the more offbeat events that take place from time to time. Please do join me and share your thoughts. Between us, we will hopefully develop useful insights into the key factors that will drive the industry's future performance.

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