Weak results hit in Germany and Italy, while France and Spain were the strong performers in the European market.
The number of selling days was the same as February 2004, so the drop cannot be explained by calendar effects.
J.D. Power-LMC expects a 2005 German market of 3.22m units (-1.4%).
In the UK, J.D. Power-LMC’s assessment is that new car sales will fall by 6-7% this year, while noting that recent consumer data has been somewhat more positive than February’s fall in registrations would indicate.