European car registrations fell 3.6% in March, the Automobile Manufacturers Association, known by its acronym in French, ACEA said today, with Nissan, Ford, Daimler and Alfa Romeo showing some of the biggest sales declines.
Registrations in the EU and European Free Trade Association (EFTA) countries dropped to 1.77 million cars last month from 1.84 million a year earlier, the Brussels-based ACEA said.
The auto industry is facing a downturn in European demand just as it struggles to make brutal cuts to average fleet CO2 (carbon dioxide) emissions, or face massive fines.
Nissan deliveries were down 29.4% in March, broadly in line with their decline for the first quarter as a whole, as the Japanese brand reins in less profitable sales to car rental firms and other heavily discounted channels.
Ford, which is restructuring its European operations to address a weak European performance and the looming regulatory emissions hurdles, saw March registrations drop 15.5%.
Sales of Mercedes maker Daimler tumbled 14%, while Fiat Chrysler’s sales fell 11.7 percent, including a dismal performance from Alfa Romeo, down 41.5%.
PSA Group bucked the trend with only a 1.0%. That meant PSA Group and its Peugeot, Citroen, DS, Opel, and Vauxhall brands had a first quarter market share of 17.2%, up from last year’s 16.7%, in second place behind market leader Volkswagen’s 23.3%. Volkswagen includes brands like VW itself, Audi, Porsche, SEAT and Skoda. VW Group sales slid 2.1% in the first quarter.
Overall, European registrations for the first quarter fell 3.2 percent, the association said.
Picture: Datsun (Nissan) 240Z from good old times of cheap and nice cars