Western European new car sales fell by eight percent in June, with demand...
Western European new car sales fell by eight percent in June, with demand for Fiat and Renault vehicles declining the most.
Sales dropped to 1.28 million vehicles from 1.39 million in the same period a year earlier, the European Automobile Manufacturers Association, or ACEA, said in a statement on its Web site. Six-month registrations declined by four and a half percent.
Slowing economic growth and rising unemployment have weakened consumer confidence levels in Europe. The European Commission expects the region's economy to grow by 1.4 percent this year, the slowest rate since 1993. Unemployment in France and Germany, the two largest European economies sharing the Euro, is above nine percent in both countries.
Fiat sales fell 29.5 percent in June to 91,881 units, the ACEA said. The company's market share fell to 7.2 percent from 9.4 percent. Fiat's car business has lost money in seven of the last eight years, forcing the company to seek a 3 billion-euro ($3 billion) rescue package from its banks and triggering the resignation of Chief Executive Officer Paolo Cantarella.