Brussels, Belgium – New passenger car registrations fell by 25.8 per cent in November in Europe, when compared to November 2007, the seventh month in a row that registrations have declined. The last time registrations dropped so noticeably was in 1999 and 1993.

All markets decreased except in Finland, Poland and the Czech Republic. In total, registrations in Europe dropped to 932,537 cars in November, and to 13,788,256 cumulatively from January to November, a 7.1 per cent downturn from the same period in 2007.

In Western Europe, a total of 854,698 new passenger cars were registered in November, a drop of 26.0 per cent compared to November 2008. The downturn hit all countries except Finland, ranging from a decline of 3.5 per cent in Portugal to 55.9 per cent in Ireland. Of the major markets, Spain was affected the most severely, at 49.6 per cent decline, followed by the U.K. at 36.8 per cent, and Italy at 29.5 per cent. At 17.7 per cent, Germany faced the steepest fall of its markets since December 2007, followed by France, at a decline of 14.1 per cent.

Markets in the new EU Member States dropped by 22.6 per cent, although these showed more relative resilience because of the greater number of first-time buyers, as opposed to the replacement market of Western Europe. Of the main markets, the Czech Republic increased by 2.0 per cent, and Poland by 10.7 per cent. Romania saw the sharpest downturn, at 53.1 per cent decline, followed by Hungary, down 28.4 per cent. From January to November, the region overall posted a 0.3 per cent growth over the same period in 2007.

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