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European new car sales dip

European new car sales have fallen by 1.6% (28,987) during March, when compared to the same month in 2006.

The first quarter of the year has also seen a market fall of 1% (42,129 units) to 4,144,099 units, according to the latest figures from JATO Dynamics, the automotive data and intelligence provider.

The UK market dominated sales throughout last month, due to the bi-annual registration plate change, with 449,287 new car sales – an increase of 13,440 on the same month the previous year and rise of 375,701 units on the month before (February). The Ford Focus remained the UK’s best selling car.

As well as being the UK’s best selling new car, the Ford Focus was also Europe’s throughout March with 51,789 units sold, ahead of the Opel/Vauxhall Astra with 51,557 units and Ford Fiesta with 50,657 – up 3.3% on the same month last year.

However, while sales boomed in the UK during March, the reduction of new car sales in Germany continues to put pressure on the European market. The revised taxation scheme introduced at the start of 2007 contributed to the 1% drop (42,129 units) in sales across Europe this quarter.

Volkswagen remains in pole position as Europe’s best selling brand, ahead of Ford which saw a 2.4% increase in March and 1.9% year-to-date, largely thanks to the S-Max and Galaxy.

Opel/Vauxhall falls into third position during March, up 0.9% with sales of the new Corsa. However, the company takes second place, ahead of Ford for Q1.

  • Click here to download the table showing the top 10 performing brands for March 2007.

  • Click here to download the table for the top 10 performing models for March 2007.
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