By Drew Johnson
Friday, Nov 2nd, 2012 @ 12:35 pm
 

Europe's new car market continued its downward trend in October, putting the region on pace for its worst year of sales since 1993.

Although some countries like Italy and Great Britain have yet to report October results, final figures from France, Germany and Spain indicate the continent is all but certain to hit a 20-year sales low.

New car registrations in France slumped 7.8 percent to 162,411 units in October, marking the country's twelfth straight month of market declines. Spain's drop off was even steeper, with the country's vehicle registrations falling 21.7 percent to 44,873 units.

Germany's new car sales actually increased 0.5 percent to 260,000 cars, but those figures were artificially inflated by two extra working days during October. Once adjusted, Germany's sales declined slightly.

Over the last two months Germany's new car registrations have declined by about 5.4 percent.

"Currently there is no early indicator or other hard data pointing to an improvement in the next few months," Ulrich Winzen, chief forecaster in Germany for auto industry consultant R.L. Polk, told Reuters.

New car sales in Europe are expected to fall short of 12 million units this year, which would be the lowest total recorded since 1993 when 11.3 million vehicles were sold. Next year isn't looking much better, with sales expected to once again fall below 12 million units.