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EU new car demand down 9.8% for Q1, reports ACEA

Over the first quarter of 2013, new car registrations amounted to 2,989,486 units, down 9.8% compared to the first three months of 2012.

From January to March, except for the UK (+7.4%), all major markets faced a double-digit downturn ranging from -11.5% in Spain to -12.9% in Germany, -13.0% in Italy and -14.6% in France.

In March, demand for new passenger cars was on the decline for the 18th consecutive month, totalling 1,307,107 units, down 10.2% less than in March 2012.

The UK remained resilient last month, posting a 5.9% growth, while Italy (-4.9%), Spain (-13.9%), France (-16.2%) and Germany (-17.1%) saw their demand decrease. 

Car industry analyst Christian Stadler, associate professor of strategic management at Warwick Business School, said: 'The car industry is suffering just as the European economy is suffering. There are firms bucking the trend like Jaguar Land Rover who are positioned well in the emerging markets and you see that those high-end brands aimed at richer customers are not doing as badly. If you look at Germany, BMW is not doing as badly as Volkswagen. Car firms position in this way will be able to avoid the worst of the European slowdown.'

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Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for 16 years, previously as assistant editor on the former Company Car magazine before joining Fleet World in 2006. Prior to this, she worked on a range of B2B titles, including Insurance Age and Insurance Day. As Business Editor, Natalie ensures the group websites and newsletters are updated with the latest news.