Zee Media Bureau
Berlin/New Delhi: European car sales fell down to the lowest level in two decades for May, a news wire has reported.
Registrations across the 27-nation European Union dropped 5.9 percent to 1.04 million cars from 1.11 million a year ago, the lowest since May 1993 when sales fell below 1 million, the wire has reported.
After falling to a 17-year low in 2012, European car demand is expected to contract further this year, squeezing mass-market brands still harder between excess capacity and cut-throat pricing. Five-month EU sales fell 6.8 percent to 5.07 million vehicles.
The German market, which resisted much of last year's slump, shrank 8.8 percent over five months. Sales in France and Italy even fell 11.9 and 11.3 percent, respectively, as unemployment and austerity measures curb consumer spending.
By contrast, Britain remained a tower of strength. Europe's No. 2 market again posted sturdy growth of 11 percent in May, extending the year-to-date gain to 9.3 percent.
France's Peugeot ranked as May's biggest casualty among the largest automotive groups, with a further 13.2 percent sales plunge, followed by GM's 11.3 percent. Volkswagen , Europe's No. 1, only slid 2.8 percent.
With Agency Inputs
First Published: Tuesday, June 18, 2013, 13:17