By on November 3, 2010

As U.S. car sales are forecast to be growing once again, spare a thought for those less fortunate than you. Namely, those poor people in Europe. While you’re the U.S. market is expanding, sales in the Old Country are a big NSFW mess.

Reuters reports that the French and Spanish car markets have contracted 18.7 percent and 37.6 percent, respectively. The reason for the drops? The car scrappage scheme. Or rather, lack of one. Spain went cold turkey with their scrappage scheme, hence the bigger drop. France is taking the methadone route of slowly reducing the amount the scheme offers. Elsewhere in Europe, things didn’t get any better. Germany’s sales figures dropped almost 18 percent. Italy’s car market sales fell 28.82 percent. Another little nugget of information to come out of the article was the fact that Fiat’s Italian market share dropped to 27.47 percent. Below Fiat’s benchmark of 30 percent. I don’t expect that figure to get any better.

“(October) was bad, but we were expecting it because we are starting to enter the period in which 2009 saw its figures inflated by the scrapping incentive,” said a spokesperson for the CCFA, referring to the French market, “November and December sales figures will be even worse,” That’s right, children. Just say “no” to car scrappage schemes. They’re just an artificial sugardaddy high…before the inevitable “downer”. Oh, well, too late ….  In a few days, I’ll report on the UK car market. But, I’m already feeling the same withdrawal symptoms. [ED: Official EU ACEA numbers will come out when they come out, usually around the 15th.]

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