September registrations of new cars decreased by 9.6 per cent compared to the same month of last year, marking the sixth consecutive month of decline in the EU this year.
Cumulatively, registrations (which do not include data from Cyprus and Malta) amounted to 1,227,645 units. Over the three first quarters of 2010, registrations were 4.3 per cent lower compared to the same period of 2009, totalling 10,251,140 vehicles.
In September, all major markets contracted, from -8.2 per cent in France to -8.9 per cent in the UK, -17.8 per cent in Germany, -18.9 per cent in Italy and -27.3 per cent in Spain, according to ACEA, the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association.
Ireland and Latvia, however, expanded, posting growth from very low levels in 2009 and 2008 to 93.9 per cent and 79.6 per cent respectively.
In terms of year-to-date registrations, January to September saw diverse results in the major European markets.
While the French market remained stable (+0.8 per cent) compared to the three first quarters of 2009, registrations in the UK (+7.8 per cent) and Spain (+16.2 per cent) were higher than in the previous year.
Italy and Germany, however, saw numbers decline 4.4 per cent and 27.5 per cent respectively.
The steepest fall was recorded in Bulgaria, which experienced a 37.8 per cent drop and the most important increase was enjoyed in Ireland, up 52.3 per cent.