EU auto sales fall 9% in May

EU autos Jun12.pngAnother month, and another downturn in the European car market.

It was the largest regional market in the world as recently as 2009, when 13.3m cars were sold But as the chart shows. May (red square) saw sales down 9% versus 2011 (green line). This is the 8th consecutive month in which sales have fallen.

Even more worrying is that sales have now begun to fall in Germany. Its economy had been supported by the strong export position with emerging economies such as China and India. But now these are slowing fast, and German sales were down 5% in May.

In other major markets, sales were equally depressing:

• Spain was down 7%
• France (facing a key election tomorrow) was down 17%
• Italy was down 19%

Greece, also voting tomorrow, saw its sales down 47%.

About Paul Hodges

Paul Hodges is Chairman of International eChem, trusted commercial advisers to the global chemical industry. Paul is also an invited member of the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council. 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 as 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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