EUROPEAN CAR SALES DOWN 27% IN JANUARY
February 14 2009.

New passenger car registrations in Europe declined by 27% in January compared to the same month a year earlier, with all markets contributing negatively to the results. New registrations have now dropped 9 months in a row. In absolute numbers, January 2009 volumes reached 958,517 units, or the lowest level in two decades. Across Europe, the month counted on average 1.4 working days less than January 2008.

In Western Europe, 891,523 new passenger cars were registered, or 26.5% less compared to January last year. Iceland recorded the steepest fall (-88.1%), followed by Ireland (66.5%). With the exception of France (-7.9%), all markets faced a double-digit downturn. Looking at the major markets, Germany (-14.2%) fared the best after France, while the UK (-30.9%), Italy (-32.6%) and Spain (-41.6%) began 2009 with more important losses.