The new passenger car registrations for June did not look as abysmal as last month, EU 27 sales were down 5.6 percent compared to a year earlier. Still this is the fourth June in a row with weaker car sales than the year earlier. For the first half of 2013 this means 6.6 % less sales than in 2012.
Of the major European companies FIAT Group (FIAT, Chrysler, Alfa ...) (down 12.6 % yoy) and PSA(Peugeot and Citroen) (down 10.8 %) were hit the hardest in June. Of the German manufacturers only Daimler improved sales by 1.3 % in Europe.
At first glance the Irish registration numbers are catastrophic. The market collapsed by a mind boggling 73.7 percent. But this seems in large parts to be due to new license plates being introduced in July. So one should expect much better numbers for the beginning of the second half of 2013. In the first six months 20.2 percent less new cars were registered, but some of this is by design, since according to the Irish Times the new plates are an attempt to reduce the "start of the year surge" and spread the car sales more evenly over the whole year.
The overall car sales in The EU are not stabilizing. This should not be expected before
the beginning of the next year. With any meaningful growth probably
returning not before 2015. Before car sales go up unemployment has
to come down and firms need to regain some confidence in their own
future. Great Britain is again showing that having your own currency is a major advantage during recessions, since new registrations were up 13.4 percent and 10 percent for the first six months.