FRANKFURT - Sales of new passenger cars in Germany decreased by more than by 9.1 percent, to 1.85 million in the first half of 2000. The country showed a 19.3 percent fall in June, to 293,000.
The VDA, the German car manufacturers' association, blamed the decline on a glut of used vehicles, a lack of exciting new models and a rise in fuel prices caused by 'green' taxes on both gasoline and diesel.
DaimlerChrysler's Smart grew the most. It increased sales by 58.65 percent, jumping to nearly 21,000 registrations during the first six months.
By contrast, the Ford brand was down 26.8 percent in Europe's biggest car market.