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European new car sales fall in October

European passenger car registrations in October 2005 dropped 2.6% year- on-year to 1,164,697 units, according to ACEA.

It says the decline points to ‘market conditions that remain uncertain’.

Cumulative figures for the first 10 months of the year show a marginal decrease (-0.3%) for total European registrations. Only two out of the five main EU markets posted an increase: Italy (+5.5%) and Germany (+3%).

France (-5.8%), Spain (-9.6%) and the UK (-10.8%) ended the month with losses.

ACEA, the European Automobile Manufacturers Association, said the weakening of the Spanish market resulted essentially from a two-day strike at Spanish haulage companies that slowed down car production and deliveries.

Year-on-year decreases in other European countries ranged from –3.6% in Portugal to –11.3% in the Netherlands, while only the three Nordic countries posted growth, ranging from +0.7% in Finland to +9.9% in Sweden.

October’s European market leader remained the Volkswagen Group, with a 20.7% share.

Other groups posting market share growth included DaimlerChrysler with a 7.2% share, Toyota/Lexus (5.0%), Hyundai (2.2%) and its affiliate Kia (1.5%), Mitsubishi Motors (0.9%) and Suzuki (1.4%). Ford and PAG combined held onto a static 10.2% share while PSA (13.5%), GM (9.7%), Renault (9.9%), Fiat Group (6.9%), BMW Group (5.3%, though Mini's share was static) and Nissan (1.7%) all lost some ground to competitors in the month.

More data on manufacturers’ year-to-date figures is posted at www.acea.be.

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