European New Car Sales Up Just Slightly In 2006

Total new passenger cars registered rose 0.7 percent from 2005.

Total new passenger cars registered in Europe reached 15,364,997 in 2006, an increase of 0.7 percent over 2005, according to a report from the European Automobile Manufacturers Association.

In Germany, for December 2006, registration rose 17.7 percent from 2005, bolstered by new products, incentives and consumer confidence. The UK, France, Spain and Italy fell by 14.7 percent, 11 percent, 5.5 percent and 2.6 percent, respectively. Those drops were attributed to buyer uncertainty, fuel prices and rising interest rates, according to the report.

For 2006 as a whole, Italy rose 3.7 percent and Germany rose 3.8 percent. The UK was down 3.9 percent, France was down 3.3 percent and Spain was down 2 percent from 2005, the report adds.

By brand, the VW Group rose 5.3 percent for 2006, Ford slipped 0.7 percent, GM was down 2.7 percent and DaimlerChrysler was up 0.8 percent. Asian-based brands Nissan slid 12.3 percent and Honda went up 7.1 percent, according to the report.

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