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Europe Starts an Auto Industry Revival

ID-10088993European auto sales have not risen in over a year and a half, but the tide might finally be turning now that the April numbers are in.

Compared to the recent U.S. auto sales, which have been driving the U.S. economy for the past year, Europe’s sales numbers don’t seem all that encouraging. Four-month sales were still down 7 percent. Ford, PSA Peugeot Citroen was down 10 percent, and BMW was down 3 percent. The European market is struggling through a 20-year low point with analysts hoping that “the worst is over.”

Still, there are plenty of bright spots including a 10 percent increase in Volkswagen registrations as well as an 11 percent increase in car sales for Daimler AG. Most importantly, registrations in the United Kingdom were up 15 percent, and Germany, after five months of falling auto sales, finally saw a 4 percent gain in auto sales.

The industry is hoping to hold onto these gains and build on them in the coming months, and the European Central Bank is helping by slashing interest rates. As of May 2, the benchmark interest rate is 0.5 percent. Not that long ago, easing credit restrictions and offering more subprime credit options revived the auto industry in the United States, so it is perfectly possible that the same will happen in Europe.

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Image courtesy of adamr / FreeDigitalPhotos.net