Car sales in Europe continued to be low owing to weak consumer
confidence on the back of a weak economy triggered by the
sovereign-debt crisis in Euro zone. The European Automobile
Manufacturers' Association, or ACEA, reported an 8.7% fall in new
car registrations to 1,107 million units in the European Union in
May. In the first five months of the year, sales fell 7.7% to 5,442
million cars in the continent.
All the major markets, including Germany and France, posted
steep decline in sales while only U.K. recorded an improvement. Car
sales dipped 4.8% in Germany to 289,977 units, 16.2% in France to
165,691 units. Meanwhile, it rose 7.9% in the U.K. to 162,288
), the largest car manufacturer in the continent, posted a 5.7%
decrease in sales to 272,157 units in May and a 2.4% fall in the
first five months of 2012. Sales at PSA Peugeot Citroen plummeted
19.5% to 132,561 units in the month and 15% in the five-month
period under study.
On the other hand, U.S. automaker
General Motors Co.
) revealed an 8.4% slide in sales to 98,873 cars in May. This
translated into an 11.3% fall to 453,696 cars in the five months
Automakers are still concerned about car sales in Europe in the
near term due to the continuous negative impact from the debt
crisis. Some automakers have projected that European auto market
will shrink 5% in 2012.
Last month, U.S. saw a strong 18% growth in sales to seasonally
adjusted annual rate (SAAR) of 13.8 million units from 11.7 million
units in the same month of 2011 driven by lower gas prices, better
access to credit, improved trade-in values for new cars, and, as
usual, strong pent-up demand. All the major automakers posted
strong sales gains.
GENERAL MOTORS (GM): Free Stock Analysis Report
(VLKAY): ETF Research Reports
To read this article on Zacks.com click here.