Modified: February 06, 2013 7:50 AM
Euro zone car markets likely to stabilize by mid-year, VDA says
MUNICH -- The German automakers association, the VDA, expects euro zone car markets to stabilize in the middle of the year.
VDA President Matthias Wissmann said buoyant volumes in the first few months of 2012 partly explained last month's steep declines in major European markets compared with January 2012.
"We can expect that the passenger market in the euro zone will experience a noticeable stabilization mid year," he said in a statement on Monday.
New-car registrations in Germany dropped nearly 9 percent in January, showing that Europe's biggest economy is not immune from the region's difficult economic climate, Wissman said. "2013 will be a challenging year, " he added.
Germany's January sales decline was less than in France, Spain and Italy. In France, registrations fell 15 percent to their lowest January level in 15 years. Sales in Italy were down 17.6 percent, while Spain's volume dropped 9.6 percent.
The German importers association, the VDIK, forecasts a full-year volume of more than 3 million vehicles for 2013 in Germany. Registrations fell 2.9 percent to 3.17 million in Germany last year.
The VDA said vehicle production in Germany declined 11 percent in January to 394,300 units.