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Western European market down 2.3% in November

November car sales in Western Europe were down by 2.3% at 1.05 million units, according to J.D. Power-LMC.

"While sales were slightly down in year-on-year terms, it should be remembered that November 2002 was a fairly strong month with an extra selling day. On a seasonally adjusted basis, the two results are closely matched, indicating that sales have continued to recover from weakness earlier this year," said Pete Kelly of J.D.Power-LMC.

- Markets in Spain and the UK remained historically strong, even if the latter is slowing a little from a mid-year high. - The French market was weak and 2m units may not be achieved in 2003. - Recovery in the German market, based on a preliminary estimate for November (indicating a YTD drop of 0.4%) looks set to resume following an unexpectedly weak result in October.

The seasonally adjusted annualised rate (SAAR) of Western European sales hit 14.6m units in November.

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