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by Chris Anderson-Peters

European markets experienced its first monthly decline in ten months, falling seven per cent to 1.17 million vehicles in April as European government’s begin to phase out incentives.

German and Italian markets were the worst hit, down 32 and 16 per cent respectively as Government programs that helped prop up automotive sales in the aftermath of the GFC, start to be withdrawn.

The automotive industry is touting the withdrawal of incentives could harm the automotive industry, seeing the market decline for the remainder of the year after enjoying ten months of gains.

Added to that economic situation of Greece being on shaky ground, it is little wonder the industry is predicting a decline for the rest of the year once the incentive programs have ended.

Fiat was the biggest loser in the April sales slump, falling 27 per cent after enjoying a good first quarter to see the Italian carmaker fall into in negative territory.

GM and Toyota were the other biggest losers, both plunging 19 percent while Ford and VW also fell but on par to the industry average.

Despite the majority of the 28 European market experiencing falls, France was the exception with sales increasing two per cent in April on the back of French automakers Renault and Peugeot/ Citroen rising nine and two per cent respectively.

Germany’s 32 per cent decline did not hamper consumer confidence at BMW with the carmaker enjoying a rise of 13 percent in April on the back of its luxury BMW division while Damier AG in spite of falling nine per cent in Smart volume still managed to post a one percent overall increase.

Asian carmakers were also the big winners in Nissan the biggest winner, selling 32,478 vehicles in April to post a 40 percent increase in sales.

Korean automakers Hyundai and Kia enjoyed solid sales in April too, up six per cent and ten per cent respectively.

The first quarter gains places Kia in 12th in terms of Europeans sales and only 2,000 units within rival Toyota, which sits at 8th place.

Source: Automotive News




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