A new report based on information collected by the European Union indicates that cars sales are holding up better in Western Europe, where incentives are in place, than in new emerging markets in Eastern Europe that automakers had been counting on for new growth.
Eurofund issued a “Report on Recent Restructuring Trends and Policies in the Automotive Sector” and it found that during the first four months of 2009, new car registrations dropped by 15.1% in Western Europe, and by 21.4% in the 10 new E.U. Member States.
The market contracted by 4.8% in France, 16.3% in Italy, 28.5% in the UK, and 43.7 % in Spain. Germany was the only market in the former EU15 Member States where the number of new registrations actually increased — growing by 18.4% thanks to the success of programs for scraping older vehicles.
Scrappage programs in Western Europe have led to 500,000 additional passenger vehicles sold in the region from January through May 2009, according to recent analysis by R. L. Polk & Company.