By on October 15, 2010

The European Car Manufacturers Association ACEA has released its September numbers for Europe. A quick look at the chart will tell the trained eye: Things are getting back to normal. Keep in mind, we are comparing with a totally abnormal 2009, when some countries injected amphetamines into their car sales to drive consumption to all time highs, and where other less fortunate countries saw their markets crash. Usually, it was the markets without indigenous car production that saw little sense in propping-up the economies of Germany, France, Italy and some other minor countries with car production – EU commonness notwithstanding. In September registrations of new cars decreased by 9.6 percent compared to the same month of last year. However, over the three first quarters of 2010, registrations were 4.3 percent lower compared to the same period of 2009. And that’s the not so interesting part of the story.

The interesting part is that Europe as a whole registered 1,227,645 units in September. Pretty much the same number (1,275,327) Europeans had registered in pre-carmageddon September 2008. In the first nine months of 2010, Europeans bought 10,251,140 cars, just a tad less than the 11,404,147 cars they had bought in the first nine months of 2008. Things are slowly getting back to normal.

In the meantime, European car production is in overdrive, due to exports. They were caused by the low Euro. This is also getting back to normal: In May, a Euro bought $1.19 and interested parties prognosticated that Europe would soon be back at Deutschmarks, Francs, and Guilders. Now, the Euro buys more than $1.40, much to the chagrin of European automakers who enjoyed a nice windfall.

We’ll spare you the prose about how many cars people in Latvia bought (not many.)  Data are available for download as PDF, and for the inveterate number crunchers, as Excel.

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