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EU automakers worry about demand

Chemical companies, Consumer demand, Economic growth
By Paul Hodges on 21-Jun-2011

EU autos Jun11.pngThe two-tier market for autos in Europe is worrying manufacturers.

As the chart shows, May’s sales (red square) were well down on the 2005-9 period, and only 7% above 2010’s very weak number.

They are a continuation of recent trends, where demand continues to be sustained by a few key countries:

• Germany, France and the Netherlands remain strong
• The UK, Italy and Spain remain weak

ACEA (European Auto Manufacturers Association) note that overall sales this year are 1% below 2010. Equally, only two months (February, May) have seen higher sales versus the previous year since March 2010.

May might be the start of a more positive trend. But it is more likely that consumers were simply buying forward ahead of price rises, as supply problems ex-Japan continued to grow.