Another 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%.