February Sales Down in Spain and France
After registering a steep decline during January, Spanish automotive industry sales look as bleak as ever. With new car sale figures down 48.8 percent, February becomes the tenth consecutive month to bring negative values, according to Asociación Española de Fabricantes de Automóviles y Camiones (ANFAC).
During February, Spanish car dealers sold 62,107 units, bringing the total cars sold in the first two months of the year to 121,492 units, 45.5 percent lower compared to the January-February period in 2008, Autonews reported.
The French industry suffered a milder decline, as their figures concerning last months' sales indicate "only" a 13.1 percent drop, according to Comité des Constructeurs Français d'Automobiles (CCFA). On the external markets however, French brands are performing rather well, as Renault, thanks to its low-cost Logan model, is taking advantage of scrappage incentives all over Europe.
New car sales in France went down 8.8 percent in February and 6.2 percent during the first two months of 2009, compared to the same period of last year. In-country sales have been maintained thanks to the French government's own scrappage incentive, which helped soften the decline.
As more sales figures for the past month will be made public, the downward trend will probably be maintained. Italy's Unione Nazionale Rappresentanti Autoveicoli (UNRAE) expects a 25 to 30 percent drop in new vehicle registration, about 160,000 vehicles compared to the 218,000 registered in February 2008.