New Car Sales In Europe Hit By German VAT Rise

March 15, 2007
In Germany car cars sales fell 15%.

New car registrations in Europe fell by 2.5% in February over 12 months, with sales in Germany plunging after an increase in value added tax, the European automobile association ACEA said on March 15. Registrations of new passenger cars in Europe -- comprising the EU members except Cyprus and Malta, plus Iceland, Norway and Switzerland -- totaled 1.084 million units in February compared to 1.112 million a year earlier.

"Apart from Italy, the biggest EU markets suffered losses in February 2007," ACEA said.

Germany, the biggest car market in Europe, saw new car sales drop 15%, continuing a slide that started in January, when value added tax was lifted to 19% from 16% previously.

Among the major brands, VW Group saw sales of its various different marques fall 0.6% in February over one year while the PSA Group saw sales drop 6.1%. Ford saw sales rise 3.3%, making it the third-biggest car maker in Europe, followed GM, which saw sales ease 1.9%. Fiat's recovery after several lean years continued to gather steam as its sales surged ahead 6.3% while Renault's sales tumbled 13.2%. Toyota enjoyed strong growth in February with its sales jumping 13.2% while DaimlerChrysler saw sales drop 8.2% and rival BMW saw a slump of 10.1%.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2007

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