New passenger car registrations

Total new passenger car registrations in Europe (EU-23 + EFTA) in April 2006 amounted to 1,266,242 units, which represent a decrease of —7.3% (and — 7.4% in the EU-15) with respect to April 2005. This drop was expected, as the Easter break this year fell in April the month had 2 working days less across the whole region and 3 days less in Germany, Spain, Finland, Denmark and Sweden. Cumulative figures for the first four months of the year show a marginal increase of +0.6% for Europe and +0.7% for the EU-15.

The five main markets reported a loss in April: Spain (-10.5%), the United Kingdom (-9.1%), Germany (-8.9%), France (-6.7%) and Italy (-6.3%). Only five markets in the EU-15 ended the month with a growth, with Belgium (+6.5%) on top of the ranking. With regard to cumulative figures, eight countries show positive figures, comprised between +16.7% in Belgium and +0.2% in Austria, while the seven others report losses, comprised between —5.5% in the U.K. and —0.9% in Spain.

EFTA countries reported a loss of —12.3% for the month of April 2006, while new EU Member States contained the loss to —0.6%, with only the Czech Republic (-19.4%) and Slovakia (-1%) reporting losses. Cumulative figures show a marginal drop both for EFTA countries (-1.4%) and new EU Member States (-0.2%).