European car sales resume downward spiral

  • Business
  • Thursday, 18 Jul 2019

MUNICH: European car registrations fell sharply in June, resuming a downward spiral this year that has seen profit warnings at German manufacturer Daimler AG and a quarterly automotive division loss at rival BMW AG.

Sales dropped 7.9% to 1.49 million cars, the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association said, the worst monthly decline since December. France and Spain had falls of more than 8%, while German and UK sales fell 4.7% and 4.9% respectively.

While the industry group blamed the June drop on fewer working days during the month, the weak showing adds to the gloom enveloping the sector and brings the fall to 3.1% since the start of 2019.

Daimler last week issued its fourth profit warning in just over a year due to the costs of a recall and allegations of emissions-tampering in diesel cars. BMW in May reported its first loss in a decade in the main automotive division.

At the year’s half-way mark, Europe is likely facing a second annual decline in car sales. The industry association has already revised its prediction for the year to a 1% drop, blaming uncertainty surrounding Brexit and flattening demand.

It had previously forecast a 1% rise. Before last year, the industry had enjoyed uninterrupted annual growth since 2013.

French automaker Renault SA was more optimistic on Tuesday, saying it expects European vehicle sales to remain stable this year, barring a hard Brexit. — Bloomberg


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