European auto market shrinks 7.3 percent
ISTANBUL - Anatolia News AgencyThe European automobile market contracted by 7.3 percent in the first quarter of 2012 from the same quarter in 2011, according to the data released yesterday by the Automotive Distributors Foundation (ODD). Auto sales in the first three months of 2012 registered at roughly 3.4 million, down from 3.7 million in the first three months of 2011.
The contraction, which began in the fourth quarter of 2011, continued in the first quarter of 2012.
Germany witnessed a slight 1.3 percent increase in sales, while Italy and France witnessed a 21 percent and 21.6 percent drop, respectively. Portugal, at 48.4 percent, and Greece, at 32 percent, registered the sharpest drop in sales. Other countries that saw a contraction include Belgium, Slovenia, Holland, Ireland, Denmark and Sweden. Conversely the countries that saw a marked increase in their auto sales were Iceland, at 101.1 percent; Romania, at 44.3 percent; and Finland, at 34 percent.