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2013-07-17 09:29

PEUGEOT CITROEN SALES DECLINE: A PSA Peugeot Citroen worker shows a badge that reads: “Save our jobs with unions” as the automaker reels from poor sales and the European recession. Image: AFP

The European car industry is showing further signs of distress with car sales were down 6.6% for the first half of 2013 compared with the same period in 2012.

The European Automobile Manufacturers' Association said there were 6.205-million new-car registrations from Jan-Jun 2013, providing a grim outlook for an industry that is struggling amid recession and high unemployment.

The car industry also had its worst June figures in 17 years with registrations down 6.3% to 1.18-million vehicles from 1.25-million in 2012.

EUROPE IN CRISIS

Europe's vehicle industry has long struggled from overcapacity at factories and uncompetitive wages and labor laws, and the region's economic crisis has compounded these problems.

To cope with the dwindling market in Europe, automakers announced factory closures and put off new car launches in a bid for survival and to return their struggling European operations to profitability.

SOME WINNERS BUT MOSTLY LOSERS

For January through June, vehicle registrations fell 8.1% in Germany, 11.2% in France and 10.3% in Italy. Tiny Cyprus, which agreed to a bailout in March 2013, saw the biggest slide, falling 42.7%.

PSA Peugeot Citroen reported a 13.3% decline and Fiat dropped 10%.

Mercedes-Benz reported sales increases of 3.5%, Jaguar 15.5% and Land Rover 10.2%. Honda sales are also on the up with a gain of 6.4%.

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