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October car sales, Spain up 26%, France down 4%

October Car sales looks like a mixed bag of results. Spain is up 26% on scrappage scheme, and France is down 4% on economic gloom.. Here is how each looks.

New-car sales in Spain rose 26 percent to 76,073 in October, the 14th consecutive month of growth, car manufacturers’ association Anfac said.

The rise follows a 26 percent increase in September, helped by a purchasing subsidy program.

Under the scheme, car owners who scrap their old car and buy a new one get a subsidy of 2,000 euros, half from the government and half from the carmaker.

In June, the government extended the subsidy program for the sixth time with a further injection of €175 million ($238 million).

Car sales in the first 10 months are up 18 percent to 716,746 cars, Anfac said.

France October results

French car sales fell 4 percent in October as consumers put off big purchases amid weakening economic confidence, the country’s CCFA industry association said today.

Registrations fell to 160,162 cars last month, the CCFA said — the first year-on-year decline since February after adjusting for the number of selling days each month.

“We’re in a context where all the indicators are pointing to the postponement of purchasing, falling confidence and deflation risk,” association spokesman Francois Roudier said. “This is the perfect illustration.”

France has lagged behind Europe’s fragile auto market recovery following a brutal six-year slump that ended in 2013. French car sales for the first 10 months of this year are up just 1 percent.

Roudier said the CCFA’s 2 percent full-year growth forecast would be reviewed in coming weeks.

After two consecutive quarters of zero economic growth, French companies and consumers alike are holding back on spending where they can, increasing concerns that Europe could fall into a deflationary spiral.

The domestic auto market leaders, Renault and PSA/Peugeot-Citroen, nevertheless put up strong resistance in October with respective sales declines of 0.4 and 1.5 percent.

Thanks to strong demand for new models such as the Peugeot 308 compact and Renault Captur small SUV, the two French carmakers have lifted their combined share of the French market to 56.1 percent in January-October from 53.6 percent a year earlier.

European market leader Volkswagen Group fared less well, posting a 5 percent decline in French registrations, while U.S. automakers plunged.

Ford’s deliveries dropped 7 percent, while the withdrawal of the Chevrolet brand from Europe hit General Motors with a 22 percent sales decline despite the Opel brand’s 13 percent gain.

French delivery van registrations fell 4.5 percent in October, the CCFA also said, bringing the sales decline for light vehicles overall to 4 percent.