Only 100,000 new cars were registered in the U.K. last November. This is the worst time for auto sales in the United Kingdom in nearly 30 years.
If you registered a new car in the UK last month, you are a rarer individual than you may think. New-car registrations for November in the United Kingdom fell to their lowest figures in 28 years. New car registrations are 37% lower in the U.K. when compared to November 2007.
The rest of Western Europe may be just as bad, according to the Wall Street Journal. Figures for November in that region will be released on 16 December. However, year-to-year new car registrations are down 50% in Spain, 30% in Italy, 18% in Germany, and 14% in France. That slide is the worst for Germany since its reunification, and the worst in Spain in 15 years.
French President Nicolas Sarkozy specifically pointed out the importance of the auto industry in that country when he unveiled France's economic stimulus package. The country will also offer €1,000 to anyone who buys a car that produces less than 160 grams of carbon dioxide per kilometer. Consumers there will be given greater opportunities to finance an auto purchase when France sets up a €1 billion fund to provide low-cost auto loans.
Indeed, reduced access to credit has had a particularly negative effect on auto purchases. Only 100,333 new cars were registered in the U.K. last month, down from 158,735 from a year earlier. All automakers had a decline in U.K. sales. Volvo had the best sales figures, down 6.7% from a year ago. Renault did the worst, down 64%.