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by Tim Beissmann

Passenger car sales in the European Union have declined for the seventh consecutive month following the removal of many government-backed “cash-for-clunkers” scrappage schemes earlier this year.

In total, 1,027,036 new passenger vehicles were registered in October throughout the EU (excluding Malta and Cyprus), which represented a 16.6 percent drop compared with October 2009.

Through the first 10 months of 2010, the number of new vehicles registered in the EU stands at 11,279,542, around 5.5 percent below last year’s levels.

According to the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA) statistics, all major markets experienced double-digit downturns, including Spain (-37.6 percent), Italy (-28.8 percent), the UK (-22.2 percent), Germany (-20.0 percent) and France (-18.5 percent).

Most of the major manufacturers suffered declines in October, with Fiat Group (Fiat, Lancia, Alfa Romeo, Ferrari, Maserati), Ford, Toyota Group (Toyota, Lexus) and PSA Group (Peugeot, Citroen) all losing between 20 and 33 percent.

Although selling in very small numbers, Mitsubishi was one of the biggest winners, up more than 2600 sales and 43.2 percent in October.

BMW Group (BMW, MINI) was the largest group to outperform last year’s figures, up 5.1 percent compared with 2009.




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