German November car sales slip into decline, report says
(Reuters) - Car sales in Germany declined in November, mirroring a drop in France, in a sign that the European auto-market recovery remains fragile amid weakening economic growth in the region.
German car registrations fell between 1 percent and 2 percent to about 250,000 vehicles, after growing 4 percent in October, an industry source said ahead of the release of official figures later today.
The drop in sales in Germany and France contrasts with higher deliveries in Italy and Spain.
In Germany, volume growth in November was again mainly driven by commercial registrations, the source said, while private household purchases remained weak despite higher wages and dealership incentives.
"There's a certain degree of customer restraint," said Ernst-Robert Nouvertne, who runs two VW dealerships near Cologne, Germany. "The economic environment may be improving but it's a weak recovery."
Registrations through November period in Germany were up between 2 percent and 2.5 percent, the source said.Weak France
French car registrations fell 2 percent last month to 135,070 vehicles amid signs of weakening consumer confidence. Sales through November are up 1 percent.
The CCFA industry association expects full-year growth to be at the lower end of the association's 1 percent to 2 percent guidance range. It abandoned an earlier 2 percent forecast last week. CCFA president Patrick Blain said the association "sees no reason to expect the market to pick up" in 2015.
New-car sales in Italy increased 5 percent in November to 107,965 vehicles, slowing from a 9 percent rise in October. In Spain, sales rose 17 percent to 65,122 units last month, helped by a scrappage program that offers price cuts on new low-emission vehicles. The November growth was down from 26 percent growth in October.
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