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European car sales stuck in the slow lane

European car sales stuck in the slow lane
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August was another bad month for European car sales, with Ford taking the biggest battering.

The total number of vehicles being driven out of showrooms was down by 8.5 percent from the same month last year.

It was the 11th straight monthly decline.

Ford’s sales slumped 29 percent year-on-year, while General Motors and Fiat slipped 18 percent.

Total sales for the first eight months of the year were 6.6 percent lower than for the same period last year.

Registrations always hit a seasonal low in the biggest summer holiday month, but the region’s debt crisis made things much worse.

Sales in Greece were down 46.7 percent, in Portugal sales fell by 33 percent and in Italy by 20 percent.

Spanish sales did rise by 3.4 percent but that was only because customers were rushing to complete purchases ahead of a September 1st sales tax increase. Since then, the retailers’ association said they have plunged 28 percent.

Germany, which had long resisted the European market collapse, saw sales shrink four point seven percent in August, close to July’s 5.0 percent decline.

Cars carrying the Renault badge suffered a 21 percent decline, but the Renault group’s cheaper no-frills Dacia vehicles enjoyed a 16 percent surge in sales.