Posted Feb 20th 2013 2:30PM
Automotive News Europe reports new vehicle sales in the EU have hit a 23-year low after registrations plunged 8.5 per cent last month. Ford, Peugeot-Citroën and Toyota all suffered the brunt of that fall, but a few automakers managed to make gains despite the negative trend. Opel, Vauxhall and Kia all saw sales increase, and Volkswagen Group managed to increase its market share by 0.8 per cent. That's despite the fact that VW Group sales volume declined by 5.5 per cent overall. Fiat sales, meanwhile, dropped by 12 per cent, fueled in part by an implosion of the Alfa Romeo brand, which endured a sales decline of 32 per cent.
Luxury brands are still weathering the downturn fairly well, however. BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Jaguar-Land Rover all managed to increase their sales in January. Interestingly enough, the UK continues to enjoy strong sales, and last month, the country surpassed France to become the second largest auto market in the EU thanks to a sales increase of 11 per cent. Registrations in France fell off by some 15 per cent during the same time period.