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JATO warns of 2005 decline

New car sales figures for Western Europe released by JATO Dynamics, the automotive intelligence provider, show that year-to-date (YTD) sales are up on 2003.

September sales though, as in the UK, are slightly down.

Europe’s best selling car is the VW Golf, leading the 206, 307, Megane and Focus. In the UK the Focus is the leader, followed by the Corsa, Fiesta, Astra and 206. Only the Corsa improved its sales YTD compared to last year.

Neil Hall, JATO analyst, says: “YTD the UK market is very marginally up but with further growth very unlikely owing to economic concerns. UK new car sales in 2004 will be scarcely different from 2003, though the market decline may become more entrenched in 2005.”

Opel/Vauxhall sold the most cars in September (135,350), but Renault has sold the most this year, ahead of Volkswagen and Opel/Vauxhall. Although the sports sector shows the biggest rise for September (up 29.25%), YTD it is just behind mini-MPVs. The Renault Scenic is still the best selling mini-MPV.

SUVs are another big gainer, although growth in September is just 2.75%. Mini-segment sales are static, for the month and YTD. The Fiat Panda is the best seller.

Supermini, lower and upper medium, premium, executive, high luxury and big MPV sales are all down. Big MPVs had the largest slide, down 26.24% on the month and 8.27% YTD.

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