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European new car registrations continue to slide

European new car registration growth remained negative in February, despite showing signs of improvement compared to recent months.

The EU new car market was down 1.0% in February and 2.9% for the first two months of the year

Latest figures from the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA) show new car registrations fell 1.0% in February compared to the same month last year as the ripples from September’s introduction of WLTP continued. However, registrations continued to chart a slightly fluctuating path of improvement following the 4.6% decline in January, the 8.4% seen in December8% in November7.3% in October and the 23.5% fall seen in September.

The 1.0% fall in February came despite some major EU markets showing a slight recovery. After a five-month decline, demand for new cars increased modestly in Germany (+2.7%), France (+2.1%) and the United Kingdom (+1.4%) last month. However, in Spain (-8.8%) and Italy (-2.4%) car registrations continued to decrease for the sixth consecutive month.

For the first two months of the year, registrations were down 2.9%. Some markets saw a strong drop compared to last year, most notably Spain (-8.4%) and Italy (-4.9%), but new passenger car registrations remained more or less stable in Germany (+0.6%), France (+0.5%) and the United Kingdom (-0.6%).

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Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for nearly 20 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.